News & Politics

Arizona Democrats Foolishly Looking to Primary Senator Sinema

Arizona Democrats Foolishly Looking to Primary Senator Sinema
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) will see stiff opposition from the GOP when she faces reelection in 2024, but the moderate Democrat may have to battle a well-funded primary challenger first.

Sinema and Senator Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) have been standing in the way of Joe Biden’s tax-and-spend agenda, as it would take their votes to ensure Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending plan’s passage in the evenly divided Senate.

Their resistance on this issue sent The View co-host Joy Behar into hysterics on Wednesday.“The Democrats have the numbers to make it happen, but Manchin and Sinema are standing in their way. They call themselves Democrats, and they will be the ruination of this nation.” Behar said.”These people are destroying the country in my opinion. We are so in trouble in this country, I don’t know if people understand how dire the situation is.”

Behar continued, “If Joe Biden loses, if the Democrats lose, the Republicans, who are so corrupt right now and we all know that, they will move in, Trump will run in 2024 – he might win because of all the cheating that’s going on. We cannot let this happen! Manchin and Sinema must be brought to task! They are the enemies right now of the democracy.”

“Yes, we have a great democracy,” she added. “But it is really on life support right now because of these two people!”

Well, it looks like enough Democrats in Arizona seem to agree with her. A new political action committee called Primary Sinema PAC has been formed that, according to NBC News, will fund local groups to pressure Sinema to support the radical leftist agenda. It will also build support and a campaign infrastructure for an eventual primary challenger.

“We fought tirelessly to elect Kyrsten Sinema in 2018,” said Alex Gomez and Tomas Robles, the co-executive directors of the group Living United for Change in Arizona. They expressed disappointment over her resistance to the massive spending bill as well as her lack of action on expanding voting rights, climate change, immigration reform, and other issues near and dear to the left, like ending the filibuster and increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour.

“Sinema has proven time and time again that she doesn’t share these values, so it’s time to organize and replace her with someone who does,” they added.

On Saturday, the Arizona Democratic Party passed a resolution criticizing Sinema and warning her of a potential vote of no confidence.

“Initial funding for the Primary Sinema PAC came from Way to Win, a national network of wealthy progressive donors that spent $110 million last year, with a major emphasis on Arizona and Georgia, where Biden, Kelly and two other Democratic Senate candidates scored victories in historically red states,” according to NBC News.

Is this really the best course of action for Arizona Democrats? I’m all for it, but if they successfully primary Sinema for someone more radical, they risk losing that seat in 2024, which seems poised to be a very good year for Republicans given the disaster that Joe Biden has created.

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Sinema may be considered a moderate, but according to various reviews of her voting record, she typically votes with the Democrats and is rarely at odds with her party. If Democrats want to risk losing that seat to a Republican who will vote mostly with the Republican Party, hey, go nuts! But it seems like Democrats all too often manage to pick off seats held by Republicans with moderate Democrats, and then act surprised that they sometimes vote against the party. Arizona may be trending blue, but it is still, as far as I’m concerned, a red state. If Sinema wants to get reelected, she’ll have to prove to Arizona Republicans that she’s not a rubber stamp for the radical left-wing agenda.

One of the biggest faults of the Tea Party movement was supporting Tea Party Republican challengers over moderate Republicans who had a better chance of victory in blue states or districts. For example, the Tea Party movement successfully defeated nine-term U.S. Representative and former Delaware Governor Michael Castle in the 2010 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. Castle had been favored to win the seat formerly held by Joe Biden back from the Democrats, but Christine O’Donnell went on to lose 57 to 40 in the general election to Chris Coons.

Neither party seems to have figured this out yet.

“The people of Arizona voted for Joe Biden and the Biden agenda,” said Leah Hunt-Hendrix, a co-founder of Way to Win. “Sen. Sinema is opposing Biden’s popular policies, which are supported by broad, bipartisan majorities of Arizonans. If she continues to stand in the way, then we’re going to hold her accountable.”

This is not true, of course. Joe Biden is currently underwater in Arizona, with 54 percent disapproving of his job performance and 39 percent approving. Sinema, if she wants to get reelected, can’t side with her party 100 percent of the time. If Arizona Democrats want to punish her for that, they’ll have to blame themselves for the consequences.