NEW POLL: Arizona Voters Disapprove of Kyrsten Sinema

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

By Keya Vakil

August 1, 2022

Sinema’s obstruction of President Biden’s economic agenda has made her none too popular with Democrats, Latinos, and young voters. She has an overall approval rating of only 42%. 

She may not be up for re-election for another two years, but Arizona voters are none too pleased with Democratic US Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, according to a new Courier Newsroom/Data for Progress poll.

Forty-eight percent of likely voters in Arizona disapprove of Sinema’s performance as senator, including 57% of voters in her own party. Conversely, only 42% of voters—and only 34% of Democrats—approve of her performance. 

Sinema’s abysmal approval numbers come after a year in which she’s repeatedly obstructed President Joe Biden’s economic agenda and refused to reform or eliminate the filibuster-–an arcane Senate procedure that effectively requires 60 votes to pass most bills, instead of a simple majority. 

RELATED: Arizona Democrats Vote to Censure Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

Those actions have made her increasingly unpopular among key demographics that make up the Democratic base in Arizona: Voters under 45 disapprove of her by a 20-point margin, college graduates disapprove by a 13-point margin, and Latinos disapprove by a 12-point margin.

In comparison, likely voters largely approve of Arizona’s other senator, Democrat Mark Kelly. Fifty-four percent of voters—including 91% of Democrats and 57% of independents—approve of Kelly, compared to only 42% of voters who disapprove. Kelly, who is up for re-election this year, has been more supportive of Biden’s economic agenda than Sinema.

Sinema’s obstruction hasn’t made her more appealing to independents, who also overwhelmingly prefer Kelly to her. Her actions have made her popular with at least one demographic, though: Republican voters. In fact, Republicans are the only demographic with whom she holds a positive approval rating. Forty-seven percent of Republican voters approve of Sinema, compared to only 41% who disapprove. 

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The poll comes at a time when Sinema is once again in the limelight, as her fellow Democrats wait to see if she’ll support the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a new proposal from Sen. Joe Manchin that would:

  • prevent 3 million Americans—including 41,000 Arizonans—who get health insurance from the Affordable Care Act marketplace from losing their health care
  • protect more than 10 million Americans—including 134,000 Arizonans—who get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace from a looming increase in healthcare premiums
  • reduce the price of many prescription drugs by 2026
  • cap Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs to $2,000 a year starting in 2025
  • establish the largest-ever federal investment in fighting climate change and accelerate a transition to clean energy technologies
  • close tax avoidance loopholes that companies exploit, increase taxes on corporations, and reduce the federal deficit

An independent analysis from Moody’s Analytics found that the bill—which represents a slimmed-down version of Biden’s Build Back Better proposal that Sinema helped defeat last year—would reduce inflation over the long-run. 

Another analysis from the nonpartisan organization Energy Innovation found that the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 would create millions of jobs, reduce premature deaths from air pollution, and help the US reduce climate change-causing emissions by roughly 40% compared to 2005 levels by 2030.

Sinema has not said whether she plans to support the bill, and a spokesman told Fox News on Monday that she continues to review it. If she once again kills what’s left of Biden’s agenda, she may be in even more trouble in Arizona. 

Methodology: From July 22 to 29, 2022, Data for Progress conducted a survey of 631 likely voters in Arizona using web panel respondents. The sample was weighted to be representative of likely voters by age, gender, education, race, and voting history. The survey was conducted in English. The margin of error is ±4 percentage points. N=631 unless otherwise specified. Some values may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

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  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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