Approval Ratings Drop for Senators Who Opposed Background Checks

The polling numbers are out, and for those Senators who “stood idly by the blood of [their] neighbors” (Leivitcus 19:16) and opposed the Manchin-Toomey amendment to expand background checks, those numbers aren’t looking very good. Americans are demanding that Congress take action, and are not taking “no” for an answer.

Last month, the Senate failed to advance the Manchin-Toomey amendment. The amendment, which had bipartisan support, was viewed as the best chance to pass substantial gun violence prevention legislation, and its failure during the first Senate vote served as further proof of the insurmountable power held by 2nd Amendment enthusiasts.

However, new polling data suggests that the enthusiasm around a campaign for expanded background checks has yet to dwindle. A survey released by Public Policy Polling, which focused on five Senators whose “no” votes are considered to be responsible for killing the amendment, reveals just how unpopular it is to oppose gun violence prevention measures.

Consider these numbers:

  • Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has seen a 16-point drop in her approval rating over the past 3 months.
  • Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) now sits with a dismal 32% approval rating.
  • Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) has seen a 6-point drop in his approval rating since the vote.
  • Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) is suffering from an 18-point drop in his approval rating. The Senator is likely losing support from both Democrats and Republicans based on his near-simultaneous opposition to gun-violence prevention measures and his embrace of gay marriage respectively.
  • Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) has seen a 15-point drop in support among Nevada Independents.

To the contrary, public support has buoyed those Senators who voted in support of the amendment:

  • Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) has seen her approval rating rise by 6 points.
  • 52% of North Carolinians say that they are more likely to vote for Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) because of her support for background checks, compared to just 26% of those who say that they will be less likely to support her.
  • Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), who introduced the amendment despite major pushback from his party, is up 5 points in his approval rating.

With such a clear reaction by the voting public, there is reason to be optimistic that the Senate will reconsider this important measure.

We must continue to beat the moral drumbeat of our nation. We must work to ensure that we stop gun violence.

Image courtesy of

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email
Mikey Pasek

About Mikey Pasek

Mikey Pasek is an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant. He is from Philadelphia, PA, and is a graduate of Bates College. Follow Mikey on twitter @mikeypasek and on the web at


  1. Number of Gun Deaths Since Newtown Surpasses U.S. Casualties from Iraq War | Fresh Updates from RAC - May 31, 2013

    […] who overwhelmingly demand that Congress expand background checks, there is still room for optimism. After the Senate failed to pass the Manchin-Toomey compromise amendment, those Senators who cast the… The tide is in the favor of gun violence prevention legislation, and although it is slow to […]

Leave a Reply