Poll: Kari Lake Tied with Ruben Gallego in Hypothetical Three-Way Matchup with Kyrsten Sinema for AZ Senate Seat

Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake takes part in a campaign rally attended
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Rising Republican star Kari Lake is tied with Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) in a three-way hypothetical matchup with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) for Arizona’s Senate seat, a recent poll shows.

Sinema, the incumbent once Democrat recently turned independent, is polling below Lake, who is tied with Democrat Gallego in a potential three-way race for the highly contested battleground Arizona Senate seat in 2024.

According to Normington Petts, a Democrat-oriented polling organization, Lake is tied with Gallego at 36 percent. Sinema comes in third place with 24 percent.

U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) delivers remarks on the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ). (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The polling shows Sinema entering the race as an independent could reduce Gallego’s chances of defeating a Republican challenger. Sinema became an independent following the 2022 midterms during which Lake lost her bid for governor. Many Republicans say the gubernatorial election was unfairly decided. 

“Importantly, Sinema takes more vote away from Gallego (14 points) than she does Lake (9 points). While Sinema has no clear path to victory, she can stand in the way of Gallego,” the poll explained. “Sinema pulls more vote away from Gallego than she does from Lake. With no reasonable path to victory, Sinema can do no more than spoil the race for Gallego.”

Senator Krysten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, speaks during a hearing on the nominations of Shalanda Young to be Director and Nani Coloretti to be Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on February 1, 2022. (Photo by BONNIE CASH / POOL / AFP) (Photo by BONNIE CASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Sen. Krysten Sinema (I-AZ) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, on February 1, 2022. (BONNIE CASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The poll surveyed 800 likely voters from January 18-23 with a 3.5 point margin of error. Those sampled identified as 32 percent Democrat and 35 percent Republican. The poll assumed a similar demographic and regional composition of the electorate as in 2020. 

Democrats, including Gallego, are furious with Sinema for changing her party affiliation. Gallego has suggested Sinema is trying to help Republicans retake the Arizona Senate seat.  

“I mean you could be out there helping our candidates @SenatorSinema But my sense is that you would actually prefer the Dems lose control of the Senate and House,” Gallego tweeted at Sinema. “Now that I think of it. I have been traveling the state and country. Donating, raising funds and encouraging people to come out and vote and I have seen you nowhere @SenatorSinema.”

In December, Sinema announced and defended her decision to leave the Democrat party. “I know some people might be a little bit surprised by this, but, actually, I think it makes a lot of sense.”

“A growing number of Arizonans and people like me just don’t feel like we fit neatly into one party’s box or the other,” she added. “And so, like many across the state and the nation, I’ve decided to leave that partisan process and really just focus on the work that I think matters to Arizona and to our country, which is solving problems and getting things done.”

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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