Republicans, Independents Grow More Fond of Sinema in Arizona
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Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s departure from the Democratic Party late last year has yielded some rewards for her at home, where she’s seen an uptick in popularity among Republican and independent voters, according to Morning Consult’s latest quarterly approval ratings.
Republicans, Independents Drive Improvement in Sinema’s Standing
Sinema’s approval rating in Arizona
- Sinema continues to rank as one of America’s most unpopular senators, but her approval rating increased (37% to 42%) and her disapproval rating decreased (48% to 44%) between the final months of last year and the first quarter of 2023.
- During that time period, Sinema’s approval rating improved among independents (33% to 39%) and Republicans (39% to 47%). GOP voters are now more likely than not to approve of her job performance.
- Meanwhile, Sinema’s standing among Democrats continued to slide, with the percentage who disapprove of her job performance increasing slightly, from 45% to 48%.
How things stand in Arizona
Sinema’s 44% disapproval rating makes her more unpopular than Arizona’s other senator, Mark Kelly (38%), and the state’s new Democratic governor, Katie Hobbs (36%). Nationally, Sinema is the eighth most unpopular senator among voters in his or her home state — one spot behind Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Sinema has yet to say whether she will seek re-election as an independent next year, in what could be a rare three-way contest against likely Democratic challenger Ruben Gallego — who, according to Politico, out-fundraised her in the first quarter — and whoever emerges from a potentially fierce Republican primary.
Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb became the first major Republican to launch a bid earlier this month, and he could be joined by others such as the party’s 2022 gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake. Republican strategists in the state have said they believe the strength of Sinema’s newfound coalition could come down to whether the GOP opts for a Senate nominee with broader appeal than hardline conservatives such as Lamb or Lake.
The quarterly survey was conducted Jan. 1-March 31, 2023, among a representative sample of 5,589 registered voters in Arizona, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage points.
Eli Yokley is Morning Consult’s U.S. politics analyst. Prior to his current role, Eli was Morning Consult’s senior reporter covering U.S. politics. Eli joined Morning Consult in 2016 from Roll Call, where he reported on House and Senate campaigns after five years of covering state-level politics in the Show Me State while studying at the University of Missouri in Columbia, including contributions to The New York Times, Politico and The Daily Beast. Follow him on Twitter @eyokley. Interested in connecting with Eli to discuss his analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].