Updated: Sep 26
by Joseph Alonso
On Dec. 9th, 2022, Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) announced that her party affiliation in the senate would change from Democrat to Independent. This surprising move has sent shockwaves through the political landscape, as it will likely have significant implications for the future of both parties.
Sinema, who was first elected to the Senate in 2019, has frequently broken party lines on key issues. While Sinema's decision to leave the Democratic Party is sure to be a blow to the party, it is unlikely to have a major impact on the balance of power in the Senate.
Sinema has indicated that she will continue to caucus with the Democrats, which means that she will still be counted as a Democratic vote in most situations. However, her decision to leave the party will likely give her more freedom to vote her conscience on key issues, which could lead to more bipartisan cooperation in the Senate.
Meaning for the 2024 Election
Sinema's decision to leave the Democratic Party also has grave implications for the future of the party. It is yet another sign that the party is becoming increasingly divided, and could lead to further defections in the future. Sinema's departure is just the latest sign of growing divisions within the Democratic Party and could lead to further defections in the future.
This could make it more difficult for the party to present a united front in the 2024 election and could undermine its chances of defeating the Republican nominee. It is also likely to embolden other moderate Democrats who have been frustrated with the party's direction and could lead to more intra-party conflict.
Especially amidst the upcoming 2024 election, Democrats are going to have to fight hard in order to gain some sort of advantage in the House, Senate, and Presidency. In order to prevail in the elections, Democrats need to cooperate. As such, the intra-party conflict will only hurt Democrats and prevent them from prevailing.
With Republicans taking over the House and now the Senate being perfectly divided, if Democrats want any chance at recuperating power, Sinema has to stand strong with the Democratic Party.
This shift also poses a great opportunity for the Republican Party to gain some leverage in the Senate. With one more independent in the Senate's votes, it becomes increasingly likely that Sinema will use her position to gain leverage amongst her peers. Only time will tell what Sinema's shift will mean for Congress, but so far there has not been much harm.