Headline RoundupDecember 9th, 2022

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema Leaves Democratic Party

AllSides Summary

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Az.) announced Thursday that she's leaving the Democratic Party and registering as an independent. 

Key Quotes: "There’s a disconnect between what everyday Americans want and deserve from our politics, and what political parties are offering," wrote Sinema in an op-ed for the Arizona Republic (Center bias). "Everyday Americans are increasingly left behind by national parties’ rigid partisanship...In catering to the fringes, neither party has demonstrated much tolerance for diversity of thought." She concluded by saying that she's "joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington."

For Context: The announcement comes days after Democrats secured a 51-49 Senate majority with incumbent Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock's runoff win over Republican challenger Herschel Walker. Sinema, a first-term senator, wielded influence over key legislation as a moderate voice within the party, making her a polarizing figure. The prime example was President Joe Biden's core Build Back Better agenda, which was scaled back significantly amid Sinema's opposition to certain provisions. In a video that went viral last year, she was confronted in a restroom by immigration reform advocates at Arizona State University, where she is a lecturer. Earlier this week, she and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) unveiled a bipartisan immigration bill.

How the Media Covered It: Sources across the spectrum framed the news as an interesting shakeup for Democrats, but agreed that the move was unlikely to significantly alter their Senate control. 

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