Wednesday, August 10th, 2022

Inscrutable Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is charting a path out of office, new poll shows

Inscrutable Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is charting a path out of office, new poll shows

Information about Inscrutable Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is charting a path out of office, new poll shows

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“Her opposition to President Biden’s agenda is setting her up for an incredibly tough Democratic primary,” Sean McElwee, one of the co-founders of Data for Progress, told HuffPost. “She will be facing immense headwinds.”

The poll used the same tools to call the New York City mayoral primary, but in this case putting Sinema up against Rep. Ruben Gallego in 2024. The outcome does not bode well for her. 

Additionally, at this point it looks as if only 25% of voters believe she’s actually doing her job, with comparisons between her and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, another monumental roadblock to moving forward President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better plan. It’s a proposal that includes addressing climate change, child care, expansion of both Medicare and Medicaid, and sweeping changes in issues of racial injustice. 

Sinema also isn’t winning any friends or fans with a recent jaunt to Europe for a fundraising trip—although maybe she’s really going to need that money in the years to come. 

The “maverick” senator, as Sinema likes to refer to herself, also has serious communication issues, choosing to exclusively speak with the White House—and only when she’s in the mood. 

Sinema’s spokesperson, John LaBombard, didn’t help her much: “So far this week, Senator Sinema has held several calls—including with President Biden, the White House team, Senator Schumer’s team, and other Senate and House colleagues—to continue discussions on the proposed budget reconciliation package,” he told The New York Times. “Those conversations are ongoing.”

LaBombard was likely speaking in response to a Politico piece published Wednesday in which a Democratic senator reported Sinema told them: “I’m not going to share with you or with Schumer or with Pelosi” what she wants. “I have already told the White House what I am willing to do and what I’m not willing to do. I’m not mysterious. It’s not that I can’t make up my mind. I communicated it to them in detail. They just don’t like what they’re hearing.”

Sinema appears to have dug in her heels, refusing to disclose to her Senate colleagues exactly what number she would need to see in order to agree to Biden’s plan. HuffPost reports she’s looking for a number under the $2 trillion mark, but a source tells CNN that both she and Manchin told Biden they “cannot guarantee” they would support the plan unless the infrastructure bill passes Congress first. 

Thanks to her obstructionist behavior her poll numbers are plummeting, progressive groups in Arizona have put a target on her back with primary challengers in 2024, and activists are going to extremes to blast her. She can run to the restroom, but she can’t hide. 

As Michelle Cottle writes in an op-ed for The New York Times, internal struggles are a fact of politics, but Sinema isn’t on the winning side at the moment.  

“In 1859, fierce disagreements within the Democratic Party over slavery led to the death of one senator in a duel with the chief justice of the California Supreme Court. More recently and less lethally, senators from Joe Manchin to John McCain to Joe Lieberman have feuded with elements of their parties, with some abandoning their team altogether. (See: Arlen Specter, Jim Jeffords, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Richard Shelby and Strom Thurmond.)

Ms. Sinema could well be on a similar path.”
 

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