Kari Lake Campaign Dealt Significant Blow as Senator Sinema Bows Out of Election

By Jerry McConway, updated on March 6, 2024

Kari Lake was hoping to win back the Arizona Senate seat that Republicans have been struggling to regain since McCain passed away.

While she had been in the lead in the race, that was based on three-way polling, which assumed that Senator Sinema (I-AZ) would be running again.

Talking Points…
- Sinema confirms she will not run for re-election
- How it impacts polling
- Analysis

Sinema Bows Out of Senate Race

Since leaving the Democratic Party, there has been much speculation about Sinema running again. As an independent, her voter support had dipped, but Sinema's running was the key to an easy win for Kari Lake, as she would clearly draw away support from Democrat Ruben Gallego.

Sinema threw a big wrench into the system on Super Tuesday when she announced that she would not seek re-election in 2024, bowing out at the end of her first term in office. She stated:

"Our democracy was weakened by government dysfunction and the constant pull to the extremes by both political parties. I promised I would do my best to fix it.

"The only political victories that matter these days are symbolic – attacking your opponents on cable news or social media. Compromise is a dirty word. We've arrived at that crossroad, and we chose anger and division. I believe in my approach. But it's not what America wants right now."

How It Impacts Polling

In the most recent polling, Kari Lake held a small advantage over Gallego in a three-way poll, beating him 37-33%. Sinema held 21%, with another 7% undecided and 2% saying they would not be voting in the election.

So, now that Sinema is out of the race, the question is who all those voters will go for. I have seen conflicting polling on this, with some saying more Republicans are supporting Sinema while others give Gallego the edge. In the last Rasmussen Reports survey, Lake still held a small edge in a two-way poll, holding a 3% lead with 8% undecided.

Trump has already endorsed Trump, but that could actually cost her in this race, with 20% of voters saying that Trump's endorsement will make them less likely to vote for Lake in this election.

Now, if we go back to the previous poll, which was an Emerson College-The Hill poll that was taken in mid-February, the results were significantly different, with Gallego leading Lake in both a three-way and two-way poll, 36-30% and 46-39% respectively.

Analysis

This is obviously a key seat in this election and will be one of only a handful that is truly up for grabs, dictating if the GOP can take back the Senate again. Democrats seemed hesitant to commit resources in a three-way race, but now that it will be Lake and Gallego heads-up, Senator Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that the party will now go all-in on Gallego. Schumer stated:

"Ruben Gallego will bring the Arizona values and dedication to service he's practiced throughout his life to the Senate.

"We are fully behind his candidacy and look forward to winning this race with him in 2024 and defeating Kari Lake."

To this point, Arizona has not responded well to MAGA, but that was before Joe Biden wrecked the economy and allowed more than seven million migrant encounters at the southern border. This is something that has impacted Arizona just as it has impacted Texas, and it could make MAGA the lesser of two evils as far as Arizona voters are concerned. They know that if they want the border locked down, it will be Republicans in office that will be needed to make it happen.

I don't want to jump to any big conclusions in terms of predicting an outcome until I see several new cycles of polling coming out with just Lake and Gallego now that we know Sinema will not be running. I have seen some major swings in polling in the past when a candidate drops out, and the Arizona polls have already been fairly chaotic. Having said that, my gut tells me that Sinema leaving is not going to be good for Lake, as I believe more voters will go to the Democrat rather than the Republican in the race.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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