Kyrsten Sinema’s big eff u to Democrats might actually help them in 2024

Kyrsten Sinema’s big eff u to Democrats might actually help them in 2024

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Kyrsten Sinema

When Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema officially became an independent last year, there was widespread concern among Democrats that she would help Republicans retake the chamber in 2024.

But that may not be the case. If Sinema were to run, her third-party candidacy would actually help Democrats, according to new polling.

An Emerson College poll shows the presumed Democratic nominee, Rep. Ruben Gallego, leading the top declared Republican in the field, Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, by a 36%-29% margin. Sinema, for her part, pulls in 21% of the vote.

The findings are similar when the other declared Republican, businessman Brian Wright, is subbed in for Lamb. In those polls, Gallego tops the field with 37% of the vote, with Sinema registering 26% and Wright garnering 25%.

A deeper look into the numbers shows Sinema is pulling most of her support from right-leaning voters.

“It appears Senator Sinema pulls more support from Republican voters than Democrats on the ballot,” said Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College polling. “About 21% of Republicans would vote for Sinema with Lamb on the ballot, and 34% of Republicans would support Sinema with Wright on the ballot. By contrast, Sinema only pulls about 8% of Democratic support from Gallego.”

Sinema, it’s important to note, hasn’t declared her candidacy. MAGA Republicans Kari Lake and Blake Masters, both of whom lost their races in 2020, also haven’t declared.

Once considered a raising star, Sinema, who’s bisexual, is now deeply unpopular in her home state. A recent Morning Consult poll shows she’s one of the 10 least popular senators in the U.S., right behind Lindsey Graham.

That’s not a place anybody wants to be!

Since joining the Senate in 2019, Sinema, despite being elected as a Democrat, has routinely thwarted party leadership. Most notably, she opposed Democrats’ attempts to eliminate the filibuster and efforts to overcome a procedural rule so they could pass voting rights legislation.

Last year, the Arizona Democratic Party censured the legislator.

Sinema, for her part, continues to work with private equity lobbyists on tax policy and criticizes the Biden Administration. Last week, she lambasted a recent federal injection of funds granted to New York City to help tackle its migrant crisis.

“I want you to know that I am continuing to fight this, and I am livid that the administration is sending money to a part of the country that, while it has a lot of folks showing up in their shelter, they don’t have folks wandering the streets of our small towns and communities or facing heat exhaustion showing up without basics like formula, people coming across the border with chickenpox,” she said.

In response to recent questions about party disloyalty, a Sinema spokesperson told Politico the senator “promised Arizonans she’d be an independent senator who delivers lasting solutions, and that’s exactly what she’s done.”

But polls show the voters who sent Sinema to the senate want her to act more in concert with the party she claimed to represent. The apparent apathy surrounding her possible candidacy is also reflected in her fundraising numbers.

Gallego nearly doubled Sinema’s fundraising total in the previous quarter.

Democrats are often fearful of spoiler candidates, and rightfully so. But in Arizona, they may finally have one who helps them.

This can’t be how Sinema drew it up.


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