There’s been this popular defeatist narrative on social media that in a three way Senate race in Arizona in 2024, Democratic candidate Ruben Gallego and corrupt space cadet Kyrsten Sinema would split the Democratic vote, thus easily handing the seat to the Republicans. But in a reminder that nothing in the real world ever correlates with the simple minded defeatism that goes viral on social media, new polling paints a very different picture.
Polling is tricky this early on because while Gallego will almost certainly be the Democratic nominee, and Sinema will likely run as an Independent if only so she can line her pockets while losing, no one knows who the Republican nominee might end up being. But one new poll says that in a three way race, Gallego has a strong chance of narrowly defeating the Republican nominee, with Sinema finishing in a distant third.
This isn’t surprising. Previous polling has shown that Sinema has worn out her welcome with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents in Arizona. And since her positions these days are just as Republican as they are Democrat, it stands to reason that in a three way race, she would take an equal number of votes away from the Republican and the Democrat. She’s not going to play spoiler, so much as she’s… just sort of going to be there.
Ruben Gallego surely saw this kind of polling before he decided to enter the race. These numbers say that he has a clear shot at winning, even with Sinema running as an Independent. Moreover, Sinema’s numbers are so bad across the board, she would likely have lost to a Republican in a two way race if Gallego weren’t running.
Of course this is likely to be a very close contest between Gallego and the Republican. But Arizona is a purple state, so it was always going to be close. We do expect that Gallego’s numbers may climb slightly once his statewide profile increases. We also suspect that Sinema’s numbers will continue to bottom out as she continues to behave more corruptly and buffoonishly. But expecting her to drop out might be too much to hope for, given that if she’s not going to win anyway, she can use her losing campaign as one more opportunity to line her pockets.
But the bottom line is that, even with Sinema in the mix, Arizona is going to be a prime opportunity for the Democrats in 2024. They have a possibility of replacing the cartoonishly corrupt Sinema with a real Democrat in Gallego, which can change the game entirely. President Joe Biden won Arizona in 2020, so if he seeks reelection in 2024, that could also give a boost to Gallego. In the end, though, this race will come down to what toss-up races always come down to: which side’s activists are willing to put in the work required to win. You can sign up for Ruben Gallego’s campaign website here or donate to his campaign here.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report