Josh Marshall has been doing good work trying to figure out Kyrsten Sinema, with the help of his readers. His latest letter from a reader has this conclusion:
She’s in a DC bubble of her own making. She has virtually no in-state presence, no public schedule, no press conferences, no interaction with regular voters, and other than industry-funded SuperPACs, no support system. She’s in a tough spot, and she put herself there.
The problem here is obvious: as her polling in state looks worse, Sinema will want more money for her Senate run. Since she’s unpopular with the kind of people who send monthly donations via ActBlue, her other option is to double down on things that corporate donors like.
All of Josh’s posts about Sinema are behind a paywall, but the gist of them is that she’s sending lots of direct mail to “independents” because she thinks her re-election hinges on making them happy. In other words, she thinks she’s the next John McCain. The problem with that strategy is that winning in a purple state requires both an energized base and popularity among independents. That energized base will be the one doing your GOTV.
Even in blue states, Senators get out and talk to regular constituents. Pre-COVID, Chuck Schumer could reliably be found at one or more Rochester festivals, accompanied by a staffer holding a sign saying “Meet Chuck Schumer”. If Josh’s correspondent is right, and Sinema is relatively absent from the state, she’s going to be even more beholden to corporate cash instead of in-state donors.
Being a Senator is a performative act in many ways. But floucing on the floor to reject a $15/hour minimum wage with a thumbs down (a clear homage to McCain’s better vote), posting on Instagram with a “fuck off” ring, and taking a two-week paid internship in California making wine rather than spending time in your state aren’t the performances that will gain you votes.
It’s beyond fucking annoying that this donor-beholden political dimwit/flake is one of the reasons the Biden agenda is in danger.