Senator Kyrsten Sinema is changing her party affiliation to independent, delivering a jolt to Democrats’ narrow majority, while it is learnt that 3 more Democratic Party Senators are going to follow the same path soon, while there is strong indications of many other Democrats in the US Senate thinking about leaving the party and joining caucus with Republicans. This is happening as the US Congress which now is under the control of Republican Party is going to begin investigations into Biden Family Crimes as well as initiate numerous investigations centering Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and other heavy-weight figure’s corruptions and crimes. It is also anticipated that President Joe Biden may also face impeachment. Under such circumstance, at least 7-8 Senators are thinking of leaving Democratic Party as they do not want to dirty their political career because of Joe Biden and few more leaders of the Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, in a 45-minute interview, the first-term senator told POLITICO that she will not caucus with Republicans and suggested that she intends to vote the same way she has for four years in the Senate. “Nothing will change about my values or my behavior”, she said.
Provided that Sinema sticks to that vow, Democrats will still have a workable Senate majority in the next Congress, though it will not exactly be the neat and tidy 51 seats they assumed. They’re expected to also have the votes to control Senate committees. And Sinema’s move means Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) — a pivotal swing vote in the 50-50 chamber the past two years — will hold onto some but not all of his outsized influence in the Democratic caucus.
Sinema would not address whether she will run for reelection in 2024, and informed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of her decision.
“I don’t anticipate that anything will change about the Senate structure”, Sinema said, adding that some of the exact mechanics of how her switch affects the chamber is “a question for Chuck Schumer … I intend to show up to work, do the same work that I always do. I just intend to show up to work as an independent”.
She said her closely held decision to leave the Democratic Party reflects that she’s “never really fit into a box of any political party” — a description she said also applies to her fiercely independent state and millions of unaffiliated voters across the country.
Sinema has a well-established iconoclastic reputation. She competes in Ironman triathlons, moonlighted at a Napa Valley winery and often hangs out on the GOP side of the aisle during floor votes.
The 46-year-old said her party switch is a logical next step in a political career built on working almost as closely with Republicans as she does with Democrats. That approach helped her play a pivotal role in bipartisan deals on infrastructure, gun safety and same-sex marriage during the current 50-50 Senate. It’s also infuriated some Democrats, particularly her resistance to higher tax rates and attempts to weaken the filibuster.
Her move will buck up her GOP allies and is certain to embolden her Democratic critics, at home and on the Hill. Sinema said that “criticism from outside entities doesn’t really matter to me” and she’ll go for a “hard run” after her announcement becomes public, “because that’s mostly what I do Friday mornings”.
Even before her party switch, she faced rumblings of a primary challenge in 2024 from Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.). Becoming an independent will avoid a head-to-head primary against Gallego or another progressive, should she seek reelection. A theoretical general-election campaign could be chaotic if both Democrats and Republicans field candidates against her.
Sinema asserted she has a different goal in mind: fully separating herself from a party that’s never really been a fit, despite the Democratic Party’s support in her hard-fought 2018 race. That year she became the first Democrat in three decades to win a Senate race in Arizona, defeating former Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.).
Sinema wouldn’t entertain discussions of pursuing a second Senate term: “It’s fair to say that I’m not talking about it right now”.