Out Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) could face an uphill battle if she runs for reelection in 2024.
A new Public Policy Polling poll found that a mere 27% of voters in the state of Arizona view Sinema favorably and want her to run for reelection. 50% of voters in the state view her unfavorably and 54% say she shouldn’t run again.
Sinema announced in December that she was leaving the Democratic Party after spending years as a moderate foil to major Democratic initiatives. Her departure opened up the question of whether she would run again in 2024, with many wondering whether she could win as an independent against possibly both Democratic and Republican challengers or if she would serve as a spoiler, splitting Democratic votes in the purple state and helping a Republican candidate win.
The poll found that she would have very little chance of winning.
When people were asked who they would vote for – Sinema; Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), the likely Democratic nominee; or a Republican candidate – she did not do very well. For example, the poll asked about the scenario where failed Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is the GOP nominee in a three-way election against Gallego and Sinema, and only 14% of people said they would vote for Sinema (35% said Lake and 42% said Gallego). The results were about the same when other possible Republican nominees – like financier Jim Lamon and Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb – were substituted for Lake.
While Sinema has been mocking her Democratic colleagues in a bid to raise funds from GOP donors – all while still trying to use Democratic fundraising machinery to get campaign cash – she is falling behind in the fundraising race as well. Her campaign raised $2.1 million in the first quarter of 2023, less than Gallego’s $3.7 million.
Sinema’s opposition to Democratic legislation, her unwillingness to consider filibuster reform – which doomed the pro-LGBTQ+ Equality Act – and her lack of support for downticket Democrats made her very unpopular among her party in Arizona, leading many to speculate that she went independent since she probably would have lost the Democratic primary for her Senate seat in 2024.
An AARP poll last September found that 37% of likely Arizona voters had a favorable view of her, showing a 10-point drop in the last seven months, which includes her announcement of going independent.