Sinema leaves the Democratic party; registers as Independent

It does if it means she’s no longer caucusing with the Democrats. Senate is back to 50-50 split, so Dems just lost the majority they were planning on.

Do you have to caucus with one or the other? Could it be 50-49-1?

If she switched parties, sure. But if she just doesn’t caucus with a party, than it’s 50-49, Democratic majority. No reason to believe so far that she’s switching parties. Further, if she wants to keep committee assignments, she’ll stick with the Democrats.

Not if she votes with the gOp on the committee assignments.

Right, there’s a non-zero possibility she’ll become a Republican. So far, there’s no reason to believe this is the case.

She doesn’t have to join the GOP conference. She will still have a vote on the organization motion. McConnell has a strong interest in attracting her support on that motion, so that it’s a 50-50 split, just like two years ago.

Of course McConnell will want her help. So far, there’s no evidence she will be give him her vote. If so, that changes things. Right now, things are exactly the same as before – Sinema is all but useless for the Democrats, but not actively helping the Republicans. If things change that sucks, but no reason to think so yet. If I had to bet, she’ll vote exactly the same and call herself independent, and then in '24 become a Fox News host or something. But we’ll see.

Sinema’s defection doesn’t prevent passage of an organizing resolution. But the resolution is subject to the filibuster – it took the parties weeks to negotiate the agreement on equal representation on committees last session.

If Sinema remains unaffiliated with either caucus, it may give McConnell more leverage to dig in on insisting on equal representation since no party has a “majority” in the chamber.

She really is a piece of crap.

As an aside, a two-year term for any political job is silly. Barely gives you time to grease palms and learn the rules.


I just listened to part of an interview she did with Jake Tapper on CNN. FWIW Tapper’s guess is that she is going to run for re-election, and that she was more concerned about a primary challenge from the left than a general election. He thinks she’s hoping to get the Bernie Sanders / Angus King treatment, and that the Arizona Democratic Party will choose to not run anyone.

If so, she better start voting like Sanders or King.

She’s not also hoping for a pony? Surprising.

Exactly this.

If she tries that, it seems to me she splits off just enough centrist know-nothings to swing the result to the GOP.

She told Politico earlier that she will not caucus with the GOP and it is being reported she will keep her committee assignments. She met with Schumer yesterday so they must have reached some sort of agreement for that to happen. I’m not certain she will formally have to caucus with the Democrats or not. Overall this appears to be a really stupid move on her part. I saw someone suggest it is to avoid the hassle of a primary fight in ‘24 but she’s guaranteed to lose if she does run. It strikes me as being incredibly selfish and attention seeking.

(And I don’t see Manchin doing the same. He’s conservative on a lot of issues but still a Democrat at heart.)

The difference is that Specter switched parties from Republican to Democrat and ran in the Democratic primary for his seat – where he lost. He was never on the general election ballot. If Sinema runs as an independent in the general election, she will likely get a Republican elected to the Senate. I think it’s unlikely that Democrats will decline to run a candidate of their own after how much she has thumbed her nose at them. And if the Republicans learn their lesson from this year and run a proven vote-getter like Doug Ducey, it could make Arizona all but impossible to hold. This in a year where Democrats will need every advantage they can muster to hold multiple Senate seats in deep-red or swing states.

She sucks.

I’m not sure she hurts Democrats more than Republicans. Democratic voters despise her, even more than Republican voters, according to approval polling. And Republicans have shown that they have no control over who their voters nominate, and Arizona Republicans are even crazier than most others. We’ll see, but right now I think this in entirely meaningless, and no more likely to hurt either party.

Yes. But this is not new information. You’re right about the rest of it too. It’s not impossible that Dems will hold the seat in the three-way race but it’s unlikely. She will lose and feel victorious though because she will feel that the Democrats just couldn’t get that seat without her on the ticket and it’s all their fault for running another candidate.

It’s not like the Democrats need her vote to pass legislation the GOP House is just going to ignore anyway. As long as she doesn’t deliberately torpedo confirmations (effectively become a Republican) her move is meaningless.