Kyrsten Sinema's base of support is crumbling around her
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona tried her damndest to sell the idea that a random Senate rule was far more important than the fundamental right to vote, but Democratic voters and groups don’t seem to be buying that bridge to fascism.
Not only does Sinema have an abysmal 8% favorability rating among Arizona Democrats, many of her biggest progressive backers are giving her the heave-ho after she helped kill critical voting rights legislation in the upper chamber.
Among the most impactful reversals came from EMILY's List, a group dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women, and NARAL, which fights for reproductive freedom across the nation. Both high-profile funders backed her in 2018 when she first ran for Senate, but this week they severed ties with the Arizona senator over her refusal to alter the filibuster in order to pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.
"We believe the decision by Sen. Sinema is not only a blow to voting rights and our electoral system but also to the work of all of the partners who supported her victory and her constituents who tried to communicate the importance of this bill," wrote EMILY's List President Laphonza Butler. As a result, Butler added, "We will no longer be able to endorse Sen. Sinema moving forward."
Statements from both groups noted that Sinema's elevation of the Senate GOP minority over the will of a democratic majority automatically dooms any legislation that would advance voting rights, abortion access, immigrant rights, LGBTQ equality, and other Democratic priorities.
“Without ensuring that voters have the freedom to participate in safe and accessible elections, a minority with a regressive agenda and a hostility to reproductive freedom will continue to block the will of the majority of Americans,” wrote NARAL President Mini Timmaraju.
NARAL also said it would no longer endorse any U.S. senator "who doesn’t support changing the Senate rules to pass voting rights legislation."
"Our democracy is on the line," the group added in a tweet.
EMILY’s List’s Butler offered a similar sentiment. “Protecting the right to choose is not possible without access to the ballot box," she said. EMILY's List has been one of Sinema's most dedicated backers, funding her rise through Congress to the tune of $485,000, according to Bloomberg News.
LPAC, a group that focuses on electing LGBTQ women to office, also issued a statement putting Sinema on notice that she would likely lose their endorsement.
"LPAC and its supporters have backed Senator Kyrsten Sinema in the past because of her stated commitment to our shared values. Any candidate wishing to have our support in the future must fully commit to protecting voting rights; anything less will fail to earn our endorsement," read the statement, which urged immediate action on votings rights legislation.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund seemed similarly poised to cut Sinema loose, though the group didn't explicitly mention her by name.
"Any Senator who chooses to protect arcane Senate rules over the freedom to vote is betraying their constituents & harming the fight for reproductive rights. They will have to live with the political consequences," tweeted Planned Parenthood President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson.
Following her speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, Sinema was warmly greeted by several GOP senators who clearly applauded her dedication to giving them veto power over our democracy.
Hopefully that GOP receiving line was deeply satisfying to Sinema, because whatever future she might have had in the Democratic Party is over.
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