Sinema’s campaign initially told donors they were working on returning the funds, but now those donors aren’t even getting their calls returned, a source told the New York Post. Neither the senator nor her staff are responding at all, the source added.
Sinema has reportedly been harshly criticizing Democratic leaders, such as President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), both in public and private, as she courts GOP donors ahead of a likely 2024 reelection bid.
Sources speculated to the New York-based news outlet that Sinema probably recognizes there’s no point in trying to smooth things over with Democratic donors since they won’t be writing her checks anymore anyway.
Sinema’s fraught relationship with the Democratic Party has led some Republicans to believe that she can be convinced to caucus with the GOP or at least back some of their proposed legislation in the split Senate. However, it may not be enough to keep Republican challengers at bay as she considers a second term next year.
The independent Arizonian has emerged as one of the best fundraisers in the Senate, leading the pack alongside Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in year-end campaign fundraising reports in 2022. Sinema raised more than $803,000 last year, ending 2022 with $8.2 million cash on hand, according to the Federal Election Commission.
However, Sinema is considered a somewhat vulnerable incumbent heading into the next election cycle, especially after she left the Democratic Party and opened herself up to challenges from both sides of the aisle. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) will challenge Sinema for her Senate seat next year, with polling a month ago showing him leading a possible three-way race between Sinema, a Republican candidate, and himself.