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It's been months, and still, no one knows what's going on inside Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's (D-Ariz.) head. The senator has defied her constituents and her party, holding up Democrats' agenda with demands the rest of her colleagues haven't seemed to understand, all the while blocking reporters' questions, and "schmoozing with lobbyists," writes Elaine Godfrey for The Atlantic.
So what might the lawmaker be getting at? What is, perhaps, her congressional long game, especially as polling suggests her 2024 re-election chances are DOA? Well, "winning re-election as a Democrat ... might not be Sinema's calculation at all," writes Godfrey. In fact, Sinema "may not even be in the party in three years' time."
With support among national and in-state Democrats "squandered," Sinema has, in the meantime "been cultivating a network of wealthy donors," which some have speculated to mean she's abandoning the Democratic Party to become an independent, explains Godfrey. Or, as has happened with other senators before, she "might even caucus with the Republican Party if the GOP takes back Congress next year."
And if she does remain a Democrat and run for re-election in 2024, Sinema has no reason to believe just yet that she'll be unseated, said Garrett Archer, an Arizona-based data analyst. "The primary is so far away, we don't even know what the makeup of the electorate is going to look like."
Furthermore, it's notoriously difficult to unseat an incumbent senator. "I've seen [progressives] throw everything at her to create this narrative that she's in this very perilous situation," said Mike Noble, research chief at Arizona-based polling firm OH Predictive Insights. "I don't see a need for her to be hitting the panic button." Read more at The Atlantic.