Kyrsten Sinema is raking in cash from GOP and fossil fuel donors — but it may not be enough to win re-election

Kyrsten Sinema is raking in cash from GOP and fossil fuel donors — but it may not be enough to win re-election
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema // Credit: Gage Skidmore

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) is amassing a sizable war chest as a result of Republican donors, according to new financial disclosures. But a new analysis explains why money may not even be enough to secure Sinema's re-election.

According to new Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings, the lawmaker raked in approximately $1.6 million in the 4th quarter of 2021. The New York Times' Shane Goldmacher recently took to Twitter with details about the donations Sinema has received as he revealed the names of some of her biggest donors.

Per The Rolling Stone, Goldmacher noted that Sinema's big donors include: "Harlan Crow, a massive GOP donor the Texas Tribune called 'one of the biggest whales in the country'; Ken Langone, another massive GOP donor who felt 'betrayed' by Trump and switched to Biden; Nelson Peltz, the aforementioned Manchin confidante; and Miguel B. 'Mike' Fernandez, a Florida health care billionaire who threw his fortune behind Hillary in 2016 after Jeb Bush fizzled out."

In addition to the donors Goldmacher listed, Sinema has attracted Republican fossil fuel donors like Continental Resources chairman Harold Hamm and ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance. Republican voters have also applauded Sinema for her adamant support of the Senate filibuster.

But despite raking in the big bucks, Sinema still faces a number of obstacles that could compromise her chances of re-election. According to the analysis written by The Intelligencer's Ed Kilgore, money from Republican donors won't necessarily help Sinema win over Democratic voters. In fact, Kilgore explains why Sinema's war chest likely will not prove to be beneficial on the Republican side either.

Kilgore argues that Sinema's moderate stance on key issues and voting record won't be enough to win unwavering support from Republican voters.

"Trouble is, smiling upon a pol for screwing up the hated opposition party’s agenda is not the same as voting to reelect her," Kilgore wrote. "According to FiveThirtyEight’s analysis of Sinema’s voting during her two years in the Senate when Trump was president, she voted with the 45th president half the time. That was about the same as Manchin’s level, but far lower than nearly all Republicans. The GOP is a party with extremely low tolerance for dissidence."

Voter registration is another barrier. "The Republican voters who give Sinema favorable ratings can’t cross over to support her in a Democratic primary," Kilgore explained, adding, "and aren’t going to vote for her in a general election against an actual Republican."

Sinema could also end up splitting the vote with a Democratic opponent that hopes to unseat her. But Kilgore is confident about one thing. He wrote, "Whether you view her as a brave and principled dissident or a scurrilous traitor, Sinema is probably, from a political point of view, toast."

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