Senator Sinema just announced she would quit the Democrats to become an independent Senator.
She knew Democrats would run someone against her in the next primary. Switching to independent was a smart move politically — it allows her to drain votes from both parties and have a real chance of getting re-elected. She could win with just 34% of the vote. (On the other hand, she’ll now be attacked by both parties.)
This won’t really change much in the Senate, though.
If she caucuses with the Democrats (which she should do if she wants to keep her committee assignments), we’ll have 51 – 49, which allows for more stuff to get passed and moved out of committees at least.
If she caucuses with the Republicans, then we’re still 50 – 50.
If she joins neither, then we have 50 Democrats, 49 Republican, and one Sinema, and that’s just as good as if we had 51.
So it won’t really change things too much.
In the long run, she’ll probably not run for re-election and instead become a lobbyist.
Oh great, now I’m imaging a Sinema singing “Let’s go out to the lobby” at the cinema