Arizona Republicans Worry Three-Way Senate Race Favors Democrats

There are growing concerns among Republicans over the prospect of a three-way race next year for U.S. senator from Arizona. Many initially believed that when Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) bailed on Democrats that it would clear the path for a GOP victory.

Recent polling suggests otherwise.

Arizona is a unique state with an electorate consisting of 34% Republicans, 34% independents and 30% Democrats. Against this backdrop, Sinema has not announced whether she will seek reelection in 2024.

Her potential opposition, however, is a bit more clear. She is likely to run against Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), who is a far-left lawmaker and has been an announced candidate since January.

Her Republican opponent appears to be Kari Lake, an ardent Trump supporter who lost a contentious battle for Arizona governor last year. In the aftermath, she and her supporters claimed voting irregularities swung the close election to her Democratic rival.

The first impression that Sinema’s candidacy would siphon voters from a Democratic candidate is proving false. This led to an unusual action from Senate Republicans — an ad touting the incumbent’s strengths.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) effort is attempting to circle the wagons around the eventual GOP nominee while splitting the Democratic vote. A new digital ad released Monday touts Sinema’s leftist credentials and slams Gallego.

It showed the incumbent as a firm supporter of President Joe Biden, backing the Democrat’s climate initiatives and misnamed Inflation Reduction Act.

The ad conversely blasted Gallego as “Rotten Ruben.” It noted that he divorced his then-wife, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, just a few weeks before she gave birth to their first child in 2016.

He went on to marry a lobbyist.

NRSC spokesman Tate Mitchell charged Democrats “are fighting a lose-lose civil war over who they will make their standard bearer: Rotten Ruben Gallego or liberal rubber stamp Kyrsten Sinema. Arizonans deserve better.”

State Republicans are not convinced that billing the race as one Republican and two Democrats will sell. One unnamed GOP member warned, “I can tell you a real concern among some of us is that Gallego will end up as the next senator of Arizona as a result of this three-way race.”

The Republican termed that outcome a “real nightmare.”