Journalists’ Roundtable: Sen. Sinema announcement, Kennedy candidacy, and more

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It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for another edition of Journalists’ Roundtable. To discuss this week’s top stories, we were joined by Mark Brodie of KJZZ, Jim Small of “Arizona Mirror” and Wayne Schutsky of KJZZ.

This week’s Journalists’ Roundtable covered:

  • Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s announcement that she will not be running for re-election
  • Kari Lake’s comments on Senator Sinema, Lake’s candidacy in the 2024 senate race
  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr’s candidacy in the presidential race
  • Katie Hobb’s veto of the Republican-backed immigration bill

Senator Sinema opts not to run for re-election:

Jim Small: “I think, bottom line is she couldn’t win. Really, at the end of the day, she had left the Democratic party in late 2022 after angering a lot of Democratic voters and had become increasingly disliked, borderline reviled, among a lot of Democrats. It was going to set her up for a very tough primary challenge. Progressives and liberals were out recruiting people to run against her, talking very heavily to Reuben Gallego, a congressman from Phoenix who is running for that seat.”

Mark Brodie: “She really angered a lot of Democrats with a lot of her votes, or in the case of the filibuster, non-vote, to do away with things like codifying rights and reproductive rights. Being an Independent, running as a third party would have been a fascinating political science experiment. I have no idea if she could have pulled it off. I kept hearing though, over the last year or so, if anybody could do it, it would be Krysten Sinema.”

Wayne Schutsky: “I think she looks like the type of candidate who could have, but we live in such polarizing times politically that when it comes to brass tacks and voting, so many people just vote for their party that I just don’t see a path forward for someone who doesn’t have a ‘D’ or an ‘R’ next to their name.”

Small: “By all accounts, it looked like she was trying to regroup and see whether there was a path for her to run as an Independent third-party candidate. And after a year plus of kind of testing the waters, looking at the way things were, nothing changed. Democrats didn’t like her. Republicans liked her, in theory, but not enough to vote for her over a Republican. And she was able to pull some Independents. Bottom line was, most of the polling we’d seen showed her anywhere from 15% to maybe low 20% when it came to a three-way race. Nowhere near competitive enough to be in the race.”

Mark Brodie of KJZZ
Jim Small of "Arizona Mirror"
Wayne Schutsky of KJZZ

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