A new poll – one of the first conducted after Sen. Kyrsten Sinema announced earlier this month that she would be switching her affiliation from Democratic to independent – shows that the embattled conservative would get blown out in a hypothetical race for her seat in Arizona in 2024, but would still sap enough votes from the leading Democratic candidate to hand a Republican the race.
Polling done last week by Public Policy Polling on behalf of Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego’s campaign finds that, in a race between Gallego, Sinema and far right election denier Kari Lake, Sinema would finish in third with a mere 13 percent of the vote. This would be despite the fact that Sinema would theoretically have an incumbent advantage in the race. Perhaps, her conservative and lobbyist-friendly actions while in office would likely be a reason for the demise of her candidacy.
However, though Sinema would lose dramatically, her candidacy would still spell trouble for her former party. While Gallego, who leans slightly to the left of the mainstream Democratic caucus with support for proposals like Medicare for All, would get 40 percent of the vote, Lake, the Republican candidate for governor of the state this year, would win with 41 percent of the vote.
But if Sinema is taken out of the equation, Democrats would emerge victorious. In a head to head race with just Gallego and Lake, Gallego would win with 48 percent of the vote, to Lake’s 47 percent.
Gallego said in a statement that the polling demonstrates the need to replace Sinema.
“You don’t need a poll to understand why voters aren’t happy with Senator Sinema: she’s consistently voted with Wall Street bankers and big drug companies, and against the interests of Arizonans. Sinema’s values are not Arizona’s values. Writing a different letter after her name isn’t going to change that,” said Gallego. “There’s clearly a strong desire for a Senator who will put Arizona first.”
Voters are indeed unhappy with Sinema, as polls have consistently shown in the past few years as she has fought tooth and nail to sabotage Democrats’ agenda, at many points becoming the sole roadblock to progress in all of Congress.
The Public Policy Polling survey found that voters who still favor her are largely Republicans at this point, and among all voters, she has a net favorability of negative 16 points. Meanwhile, Gallego’s net popularity sits at plus 8 points, or 24 points better than Sinema’s. This is similar to polling done last year, when Sinema was still a Democrat, which found that Sinema would lose to Gallego in a 2024 primary by a 39-point margin.
Though this polling comes at a very early point in the 2024 elections, it suggests that Sinema should consider not running for reelection if she maintains any loyalty to the party that she says she still plans to vote with, or if she wants to ensure that Republicans can’t take drastic measures to further erode things like abortion rights if they’re able to take control of the Senate in 2024.
The polling also comes before the campaign to replace Sinema has started in earnest, which could sway the tide against her. Progressives have been vowing to boot Sinema out of the Senate for over a year now and have been raising funds for their efforts, while prominent lawmakers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) would likely throw their weight behind that fight.