Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Sinema Left the Democrats and Her Donors Left Her

We've never understood what kind of game Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) is playing. If she voted with the Democrats or at least with Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), who sometimes bucks the party line, she would not have drawn a primary opponent and could probably have beaten pretend-governor Kari Lake (R) easily next year. But for her own (unknown) reasons, she blocked Joe Biden at every turn. She was actually worse than Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who was opposing Biden because that's what his constituents wanted.

Now she appears to be reaping what she sowed. She hasn't announced whether she will run for reelection, but if she does, she is likely to have a money problem and maybe a voter problem. The Democratic candidate is all but certain to be Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), a telegenic former Marine, a Latino, and Harvard graduate. Sinema raised $4.6 million through Q3 of this year, compared to Gallego's $10 million, and her fundraising keeps dropping quarter by quarter, as shown here.

Kyrsten Sinema's fundraising for Q1, Q2, and Q3 2023

She has more in the bank ($10 million) than he does, but most of it is from the time before she became an independent.

Politico has made a study of what Sinema's former donors are doing. So far this year her former big donors (those giving at least $200) have given her $277,000, but have given Gallego $691,000. That's not a good sign. Gallego has also raised $1.7 million from Kelly's big donors. In short, the Democratic donors see Gallego as their candidate, not Sinema. In short, her donor base has dried up and she is going to have to make it on her charm alone.

One thing she does have going for her that most Senate candidates do not is that she is getting some donations from both Democrats and Republicans. Of her donors this year, 640 have a donation history only on ActBlue while 200 have a donation history only on WinRed. Another 370 have donated on both platforms.

She is also losing in a three-way race with Gallego and Lake. The NRSC recently revealed a poll showing Gallego beating Lake by 4 points, with Sinema getting only a miserable 17%. Democrats hate her and Republicans have their own candidate in Lake. Her support is probably mostly from sane Republicans who can't stand Lake, but that may not be enough to carry the day. Arizona doesn't have runoffs, so if Gallego gets 40% of the vote and it's more than either Lake or Sinema gets, then he wins.

So far, the DSCC hasn't given Gallego any money. Normally it supports incumbents. But if Gallego continues to show that he is a good fundraiser and is doing well in the polls, the DSCC could abandon Sinema altogether and just pump money into Gallego's campaign. Of course, with things looking down for her, she could decide not to run and go find something else to do, maybe a gig on Fox News. She wouldn't be an effective lobbyist because a lobbyist's power is cajoling former colleagues into helping her clients. Her former Democratic colleagues hate her and Republicans aren't wild about her either because on judges, nominations, and some other issues, she did vote with the Democrats. (V)

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