Sinema Switches from Democrat to Independent

    Photo: Getty Images [via Fox News]

    The Facts

    • Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema on Friday announced she has left the Democratic Party and is registering as an Independent. This comes after Democrats secured 51 seats in the Senate in the midterm elections. She will, however, continue to caucus with Democrats.

    • In an op-ed in the Arizona Republic, she cited increased partisanship and radicalization in both parties as her reason for changing. She also wrote, "Americans are told that we have only two choices – Democrat or Republican," but "most Arizonans believe this is a false choice."

    The Spin

    Democratic narrative

    Sinema’s career has been a giant metamorphosis, and Democrats could never count on her to be in their corner. This is just another step on her unpredictable path, and Democrats will have to continue to work around her harmful opposition to the filibuster, and her devotion to the Wall Street set, while accepting her support on issues that she agrees with them on.

    Republican narrative

    Democrats should take this as a warning about how far to the left they’ve moved. There’s less room nowadays for moderates, and those who don’t lean far enough left often pay the price by getting harassed while out in public. Sinema probably won’t be the last defector.

    Cynical narrative

    Sinema says her policy stances and voting habits won’t change. If she’s still going to caucus with Democrats, what’s the point of changing affiliations? Well, it’s all about her political survival. She’s highly unpopular with Democrats, but now she won’t have to face a Democratic challenger because the party won’t want to risk splitting the left-leaning vote. This isn’t about principles, it’s about reelection.

    Political split



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