Jeff Flake Thinks His Popularity Is "Somewhere Just Below Pond Scum"

Senator Jeff Flake, upon discovering that his approval rating was found to be one of the worst in the country, says "that probably puts me somewhere just below pond scum" on the popularity scale.

Public Policy Polling found that Flake's approval rating among Arizonans is 32 percent, and that, coupled with his high disapproval rating, made him the least-popular Senator, according to PPP polls.

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-Jeff Flake "Has Already Become One of the Most Unpopular Senators in the Country," Poll Says

"Nothing like waking up to a poll saying you're the nation's least popular senator," Flake posted on Facebook. "Given the public's dim view of Congress in general, that probably puts me somewhere just below pond scum."

The polling firm found that a lot of the distaste for Flake was for his voting against the "Manchin-Toomey" amendment, which called for strengthening background checks for gun sales.

Flake hasn't really defended his vote.

"It was a popular amendment, and I voted against it," Flake's Facebook post says. "This afternoon I came across this piece written by the Arizona Republic's Joanna Allhands. It captures the complexity of the issue better than anything I've read."

That piece can be found here, and if that piece "captures the complexity of the issue" better than anything Flake's read, he obviously hasn't read too much.

From that piece:

I realize I'm in the minority, but I respect Flake more after his supposed "cowardly" vote. Maybe his views on guns don't perfectly mirror mine, but I like that they aren't black and white. They don't fit into the "you're either 100 percent for or 100 percent against" arguments that most politicians are repeating.

I understand that's why Flake got such negative reaction. Like immigration, gun violence is a complicated, emotional issue that people have oversimplified.

Notice it's devoid of any fact.

Remember Flake's explanation of his opposition to the amendment, despite claiming that he supported "strengthened" background checks?

"Manchin-Toomey would expand background checks far beyond commercial sales to include almost all private transfers -- including between friends and neighbors -- if the posting or display of the ad for a firearm was made public," he wrote. "It would likely even extend to message boards, like the one in an office kitchen. This simply goes too far."

That's interesting, considering what Senators Manchin and Toomey said.

"As under current law, transfers between family, friends, and neighbors do not require background checks," their explanation said. "You can give or sell a gun to your brother, your neighbor, your coworker without a background check. You can post a gun for sale on the cork bulletin board at your church or your job without a background check."

Perhaps it's a coincidence, but Flake's claims were very similar to the claims made by the NRA, which were debunked by PolitiFact. You can read the text of the amendment and judge it yourself.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.