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Is Sinema Really The Lesser Evil?



Between June 28 and July 6, Data For Progress polled Arizona likely voters about Kyrsten Sinema and released the results yesterday. Sinema was the worst Democrat in the House and because of that, was recruited to run for the Senate by Chuck Schumer, who hates progressives and progressive values and automatically assumes everyone else does as well, so is always recruiting Republican-lite conservative candidates to run as Democrats. Sometimes he even talks "ex"-Republicans-- like Patrick Murphy in Florida or Barbara Bollier in Kansas-- to run as Dems... and they always lose. But he never learns. In Sinema he didn't get an "ex"-Republican; he got a future Republican.


And now he's stuck with Sinema-- who theatrically voted against raising the minimum wage-- preventing passage of Biden's agenda. Because she is not a rational player, she is far worse than Manchin, who is just stupid but who can be reasoned with. Sinema can't be.


Brian Burton and Gustavo Sánchez of Data for Progress, wrote that "Sinema is finding herself seemingly at odds with the members of her party. Her dedication to preserving the filibuster has stood as a significant obstacle to enacting a number of important bills and to more general Democratic governance despite the party’s trifecta in Washington, DC. Most recently, her unwavering stance on the filibuster enabled Republicans to block the For the People Act, a sweeping voting rights bill that is popular with the Democratic base, leadership, and her constituents back home in Arizona. In a recent poll by Data For Progress, we found strong majority support for this bill and a number of others that are high on the Democrats’ policy agenda. We also found that Arizona voters from across the political spectrum are displeased overall with her performance as Senator. Taken together, this begs the question: if her policy stances are alienating leadership and voters alike, who exactly is Kyrsten Sinema representing in Congress?"


Actually Republicans recognize a kindred spirit and kind of like her-- at least more than any other Democrats. Worse yet for her prospects to survive a primary that is surely coming is the fact that nearly a third of likely Democratic voters disapprove of her and while 94% of Arizona Dems approve of Biden and 85% approve of the other conservative Democratic Senator, Mark Kelly, just 54% approve of Sinema. Democratic activists hate her guts and don't want her to run as a Democrat again.


Voters responded even less warmly when asked whether they had a favorable opinion of Senator Sinema: across party lines, Arizona voters expressed a net unfavorable rating of Sinema of -4 points (38 favorable vs 42 unfavorable). More notably, the Senator is unable to receive majority favorable opinions even among voters of her own party, with only 42 percent of Democrat respondents expressing a favorable opinion of her for a net favorable rating of +3 points. Paired with her net 0 favorable rating among Independents and a -15-point unfavorable rating among Republicans, these results offer another indication that any attempts to fortify Sinema’s bipartisan credentials have not made inroads with voters across the aisle and may, in fact, be hurting her reputation among her base.
All of these results speak to the precarious position in which Senator Sinema is finding herself with her constituents, and heavily enforces the possibility of her being met with a credible primary challenge in 2024. When asked about their likelihood to vote in a Democratic primary, respondents, including both Democrats and Independents who vote in Arizona’s open Democratic primaries, expressed a fervent desire to participate in the process: an impressive 93 percent reported that they will either “Probably” or “Definitely” vote. Despite being 3 years off, this result alone is indicative of the level at which Democrats and other left-leaning voters are feeling activated by the current political climate.
Furthermore, these potential primary voters are already revealing the policy priorities and deal-breakers that may decide their vote. Particularly salient among them is the voters’ desire to eliminate the filibuster. Among likely Democratic primary voters, 66 percent have said that they would vote for another candidate who will champion filibuster reform compared to only 22 percent who would re-elect Senator Sinema should she continue to preserve it. As previously noted, her voting record up to this point would already place her in a relatively weakened position in a hypothetical primary challenge. If she remains steadfast in her resolve to protect the filibuster, regardless of reason, it seems quite likely that she will further push her base towards another candidate entirely.

Arizona voters-- across the board among Democrats, independents and Republicans-- support policies that Sinema is committed to blocking. Arizona voters should commit themselves to blocking Sinema's reelection, even though it isn't until 2024. Be prepared for the DSCC presenting her as the lesser of two evils compared to a, no doubt, even worse Republican. But try telling that to someone who was counting on an increased minimum wage to help break their family out of a cycle of poverty, a cycle Sinema talked about, hypocritically it turns out, when she first ran for office. The Democratic Party does nothing but destroy its own credibility and its party brand, by accepting and promoting garbage politicians like Kyrsten Sinema.


"Over The Falls" by Nancy Ohanian

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