Poll: Two-thirds of AZ Democratic voters back primary challenge to Sinema over filibuster

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) speaks to repoters on June 24 following a meeting with President Biden and members of a bipartisan group of Senators to discuss an infrastructure plan.

Two-thirds of Democratic primary voters in Arizona say they would support a primary challenge to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) if she continues to oppose filibuster reform in the Senate, according to a new poll from the progressive think tank Data for Progress.

Only 22 percent of Arizona Democratic primary voters said they would support Sinema’s reelection in 2024 if she maintains her hard-line stance on the filibuster, the longstanding Senate rule that requires a 60-vote minimum to end debate. 

Sinema, along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), has remained steadfastly opposed to efforts to weaken the filibuster, frustrating many Democrats who see the rule as an obstacle to passing key parts of President Biden’s agenda, including a sweeping infrastructure package and election reforms. 

The poll suggests that if Sinema sticks to her current position on filibuster reform, there may be a political price to pay the next time she’s up for reelection. Most Democratic primary voters in Arizona in the poll — 66 percent — say that they would choose a different candidate if Sinema continues to push to preserve the filibuster, while another 13 percent said they’re unsure how they will vote.

The poll also shows Sinema’s job approval among Arizona voters trailing those of both President Biden and Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), who is up for reelection next year and hasn’t yet said publicly where he stands on changing the rule. 

Fifty percent of respondents said they approve of Kelly’s job performance, while just as many said they approve of Biden’s, the Data for Progress poll found. By comparison, 44 percent gave Sinema’s performance a thumbs up. Only among Republican voters did Sinema score better approval marks than Biden or Kelly. 

Republicans have sought to hammer Democrats on their push for filibuster reform ahead of the 2022 midterms, casting the efforts as a partisan power grab. And while Democratic voters largely support efforts to weaken the rule, voters overall are more skeptical. 

A poll of Arizona voters conducted last month by the Miami-based pollster Bendixen & Amandi International found that a plurality of the state voters surveyed — 46 percent — approve of the filibuster, while 36 percent said they disapprove of the rule.

That same poll found that half of Arizona voters support Sinema’s decision to preserve the filibuster. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they do not support her position on the rule.

The Data for Progress poll was conducted from June 28-July 6 and surveyed 574 likely Arizona voters using a web panel. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Tags 2022 midterm elections 2024 elections Arizona politics Data for Progress Filibuster filibuster reform Joe Biden Joe Manchin Kyrsten Sinema Mark Kelly

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