Mark Kelly was critical of his fellow Arizona Senator during his 2022 reelection campaign, and he won. Voters in the state essentially chose him over her. It was a de facto repudiation of Sinema’s antics.
The only reason for Democrats not to primary Sinema in 2024 would be if doing so would decrease the odds of the Democrats holding onto the seat. But it’s now clear that Arizona voters have turned against her anyway. So the Democrats will probably increase their odds of keeping the seat if they take her out in a primary challenge. Based on how he keeps going at her on Twitter, House Democrat Ruben Gallego seems eager to run against Sinema, and he may not be the only one looking to challenge. Now that Kelly has run on an anti-Sinema platform in Arizona and won, Sinema has no remaining leverage.
Sinema now knows that she will lose her Senate seat in two years, and thus lose her ability to keep taking corrupt handouts from mega donors, unless she starts acting more like a Democrat. That means the Democratic Senate leadership can put the squeeze on her any time she tries to foul up a vote. It’s ultimately up to Sinema, who at times has alternately come off as cynically corrupt and mentally incompetent, whether she wants to start behaving well enough to keep her seat. But at least now everyone involved – including her – knows that the Democrats can successfully replace her in two years if she leaves them no choice.
If there’s any concern that Sinema could do something as deranged as become a Republican in retaliation, winning the Georgia Senate runoff would serve as insurance against that scenario. That’s why it’s so important that we mobilize now to help Raphael Warnock win the runoff race. That’ll give the Democrats a fifty-one seat majority and make it even more difficult for Sinema to cause trouble.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report