A new survey conducted by OH Predictive Insights found that barely a majority of Arizona Democrats approve of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), suggesting that there could be an inroad for a potential Democratic Senate primary challenger down the line. In the meantime, Sinema has garnered consistent criticism for her de facto obstruction of the Biden agenda. She has supported keeping the Senate’s filibuster rules in place, even though these provisions demand the agreement of at least 60 Senators in the 100-member chamber before moving forward on most bills, meaning that most successful legislation has to be at least nominally bipartisan — even though Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) isn’t exactly known for his bipartisanship.
More directly, Sinema has also expressed opposition to a $3.5 trillion spending package pushed by Democratic leaders. If passed, the money would go towards so-called “human infrastructure,” which includes a broad swath of social support programs like child care and care for elderly people. Certain budget-related bills, including this spending package, can be passed in the Senate through a process called budget reconciliation, which only requires a simple majority of the chamber’s votes — but with the Senate’s current party breakdown, Democratic leaders can not afford to lose the support of a single Democrat.
In the new OH Predictive Insights survey, merely 56 percent of Arizona Democrats indicated that they have a favorable view of Sinema, while a full 30 percent of Democrats indicated that they view Sinema unfavorably. Notably, Sinema’s appeal to bipartisanship hasn’t even won her substantial levels of support from Republicans in the state, although her support among Arizona GOP voters does sit higher than some might expect. In the new OH Predictive Insights poll, 48 percent of Republican respondents indicated that they hold an unfavorable view of Sinema, while 40 percent of Republican respondents said that they have a favorable view of the Senator.
Reporting has emerged just this week outlining how Arizona Democrats are gathering behind the potential for a primary challenge against Sinema, who is up for re-election in 2024. A group has formed called the Primary Sinema PAC, with an early funding boost from a national advocacy organization called Way to Win. Luis Avila, a progressive organizer in Arizona who’s supporting the PAC, insisted that there “is still time for Senator Sinema to change course. But if she does not, there will be consequences for her betrayal of the people who elected her.”
Featured Image via Gage Skidmore on Wikimedia Commons, available under a Creative Commons License