Kyrsten Sinema, the now independent Senator from Arizona, loses in multiple iterations of the upcoming race in 2024 for her spot in the Senate in new polling of the race conducted under the auspices of the Replace Sinema PAC, whose aims the name make clear.
The polling, by Normington Petts, found Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), who has announced he is running for Sinema’s seat, in the strongest position overall. Against Republican Kari Lake, who remains focused on her defeat in last year’s race for Arizona governor but could run for Senate, Gallego was up by five percent, with 50 percent of the overall support compared to just 45 percent for Lake. The polling also measured how respondents would vote if Gallego and Sinema were on the ballot for the general election alongside either Lake or former Arizona GOP Governor Doug Ducey, and Gallego led or tied in both set-ups, with Sinema in third place. With Lake, both she and Gallego got 36 percent, while Sinema nabbed 24 percent. With Ducey, Sinema was behind Gallego by 10 percent, finishing with 27 percent of the overall support compared to Gallego’s 37 percent.
Sinema, if she runs for re-election, will likely make it to the general election ballot, since she transferred her party affiliation away from the Democratic Party and is now an independent, meaning she won’t have to face a primary at all. Since it was no secret prior to that announcement that some were harboring ambitions of launching a primary challenge to Sinema, it’s difficult to not see her decision as a political ploy to better her chances at winning another term, since she’d at least make it to the general election. Sinema has faced steep opposition among Democrats for decisions like her support of the Senate’s filibuster rules, a choice that stifled progress on the Democratic agenda, since those provisions required a 60-vote majority in the 100-member Senate for moving forward with most initiatives. That helped sink pushes for new protections for abortion rights and voting rights.
Sinema also helped ensure that tax provisions allowing for smaller payment obligations on certain types of additional income in the private equity field remained intact amid negotiations between Democrats on what became the Inflation Reduction Act. The bill, it seems, wouldn’t have even completely eliminated the opportunity for treating that income in a manner more financially favorable to the high-earners making it, but Sinema insisted on protecting the option. Elsewhere on the Senate map, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has announced he is running for Senate in California, where Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), who is nearly 90, may be retiring. Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) also announced a campaign. Rules for primaries in California, where those finishing in the top two spots from a list of candidates across parties move forward to general elections, mean Schiff and Porter could face each other in November 2024.