Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona at the Capitol on December 15, 2021.
Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
- Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s approval rating is higher among Republicans than Democrats in Arizona.
- According to Morning Consult, 55% of Republicans approve of her, while just 44% of Democrats say the same.
- Even as her Republican approval soars, polls also find Sinema increasingly vulnerable to a primary challenge.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona may be a Democrat, but many Democrats in her state don’t approve of the job she’s doing — while Republicans are saying the opposite.
Fresh polling from Morning Consult has found that 55% of Arizona Republicans approve of the work she’s doing as a lawmaker, while only 43% of Democrats and 35% of independents say the same. In fact, 45% of Democrats say they outright disapprove of Sinema.
On the flip side, Sinema’s support among Republicans has grown by 20 percentage points just in the last year, after 67% of Democrats and 35% of Republicans said they approved of the job she was doing in early 2021.
Sinema’s growing approval among Republicans, which is corroborated by recent polling by Data for Progress, comes after that same polling outlet found that the first-term Democrat is increasingly vulnerable to a primary challenge, particularly from Rep. Ruben Gallego.
In fact, a Data for Progress poll last week found Gallego would win a hypothetical 2024 primary against Sinema with 76% of the vote. Insider’s Kayla Epstein recently wrote about Gallego’s emergence as a potential primary challenger to Sinema, with backers saying the congressman’s military experience could help him in 2024 against Sinema.
These developments come amid broader Democratic frustration directed at Sinema and her colleague Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, both of whom have emerged as key roadblocks to President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda. Most recently, the duo came out against changing Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster after also stalling the Build Back Better social spending bill for months. That earned Sinema a unanimous censure vote from the state Democratic party.
But while Manchin comes from an overwhelmingly Republican-voting state, Biden won Arizona during the 2020 presidential election, and Democrats feel that Sinema’s seat could be won by someone with a more liberal voting record.
Recently, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said he would be open to supporting a primary challenger to Sinema, an effort that many of his own campaign alums have already joined.
The Morning Consult poll was conducted from December 21, 2021 through January 20, 2022, included 3,787 Arizona registered voters, and had a margin of error of ±2 points. The Data for Progress poll was conducted from January 21 to 24 and included 673 likely Democratic primary voters.