Sinema's War Chest is Drying Up

Sinema's War Chest is Drying Up

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
|
January 31, 2024

With election season approaching, candidates are stuffing their coffers for the upcoming battle for hearts and minds. However, Senator Kyrsten Sinema's (I-AZ) war chest is drying up, leaving her reelection campaign dubious.

The Arizona Republic reported that Sen. Sinema brought in $595,000 in the third fundraising quarter of 2023 yet spent $797,000 on travel and security rather than polling or outreach. The Republic further stated polls have shown Sen. Sinema as behind her competitors, Kari Lake and Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), by nearly twenty points. However, polling data beyond January 11th remains unavailable.

Additionally, Sinema has not yet begun the paperwork necessary to get the 42,000 signatures necessary to qualify for the November ballot, casting further doubt on her ability to run for reelection.

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Rep. Gallego has further outraised Sinema by an impressive margin, collecting $6.5 million during the first three fundraising quarters. Meanwhile, Lake raised $1.2 million in the first quarter and likely accumulated more ever since.

The explanation offered by Sinema is that she has been too busy with Senatorial work, such as the bipartisan border deal, to focus on reelection.

"Arizonans expect their elected leaders to solve problems. That’s why Kyrsten is laser-focused on delivering real solutions to secure Arizona’s border — not campaign politics," spokesman Pablo Sierra-Carmona told the Washington Post.

However, the Post also quoted an anonymous Republican consultant who said Sinema's chances are grim in today's hyper-partisan, polarized environment, even if she could help get the bipartisan border deal through.

"If she is able to get a border security deal across, do you know she will have accomplished something that hasn’t been done in 30 years as a first-term senator, but do voters even care?" the Republican consultant added.

After all, House Republicans have signaled they already intend to reject the border deal, which they have said contains unacceptable conditions such as capping border crossings to 5,000 per day and expanding access to green cards.

Kari Lake further suggested the deal would subsidize migrants' food, clothing, lawyers, and phones. Meanwhile, Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) said his colleague Senator James Lankford (R-OK) was on "a suicide mission" acting as the Republican negotiator.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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