New analysis explains why Kyrsten Sinema's distancing from the Democratic Party might not work in her favor

New analysis explains why Kyrsten Sinema's distancing from the Democratic Party might not work in her favor
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona speaking in Phoenix in April 2022 (Gage Skidmore)
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A new analysis is examining Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's (I-Ariz.) latest decision to break from the Democratic Party while explaining how that decision could ultimately have an adverse impact on her political career.

In a new piece published by NPR, Domenico Montanaro admitted that "it's not shocking that she decided this week she's officially switching from the Democratic Party to be an independent."

Over the last two years, Sinema has publicly distanced from the political party and often made decisions that did not align with the party's beliefs. Montanaro noted, "Sinema also says this move fits her more ideologically. That, some may see as proof of a lack of ideological diversity within the Democratic Party."

READ MORE: 'She did nothing': Ruben Gallego blasts Kyrsten Sinema for letting fellow Democrats down in the midterms

While independent lawmakers tend to fall in the moderate space, not leaning too far left or right, Montanaro explained the "ideologically cohesive" aspects that might work against the centrist lawmaker.

Referencing an analysis conducted by the Pew Research Center, he noted that "while the party has gotten more liberal over the last 50 years and both parties have become more ideologically cohesive, Republicans have gotten far more conservative than Democrats have become liberal in that time."

The writer also notes that Sinema's independent status also appears to conflict with her voting record. Although she distanced from the party regarding key issues like the filibuster, she's voted with Democrats on the vast majority of bills. The decision to leave the party raises many questions.

So, what does Sinema's future look like? Montanaro shed light on the reality of Sinema's situation. "The reality is Sinema is less popular in the state than Kelly or Biden, and Democratic polling has shown her getting trounced in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup against Gallego in a Democratic primary," he wrote.

READ MORE: ‘Holding the seat hostage': Social media blows up after Kyrsten Sinema announces she’s going independent

He added, "So going "independent" may be her only path to a general election. But there's no guarantee a Sinema independent bid would win her reelection."

According to Montanaro, the move may also create further problems for the embattled lawmaker. "What's true in politics is that you have to start with a base of support," he wrote. "Sinema abandoning the Democratic Party may alienate her further with the voters that used to be that base."

READ MORE: 'I couldn't agree more': Republican Martha McSally joins Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in slamming Rand Paul

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