Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has resigned himself to the reality that his “no” vote on a bill that would have expanded background checks on gun buyers caused his approval rating to dip sharply, and Democratic pollster Tom Jensen said he’s glad.
Jensen’s firm Public Policy Polling released findings on Monday that showed Flake’s approval rating had plummeted to 32 percent among Arizona voters following his opposition to the gun bill, numbers that made him one of the most unpopular senators in the country. The poll also showed that 52 percent of voters are less likely to support Flake as a result of his vote on the legislation.
After initially taking a shot at PPP on Monday, Flake later conceded on Facebook that his opposition to the background checks measure probably caused his approval rating to take a “southerly turn.”
Pointing to results from the same poll that showed enormous in-state support for the background checks measure, Jensen told TPM in an email Tuesday that Flake shouldn’t have been surprised by the survey’s results and that his Democratic-leaning firm is “not out to get” the junior Arizona senator.
“It’s no surprise that if you vote against a high profile measure that has 70% support in your state, that it would cause your popularity to decline. I’m glad he realizes that,” Jensen wrote. “We are certainly not out to get Jeff Flake- almost every poll we did of his race last year showed him with a modest lead and that’s how it shook out.”
Correction: The post has been changed to indicate that Jensen responded to TPM on Tuesday, not Monday.