According to Vox, a new poll shows that Arizona voters are more interested in passing major legislation than holding on to the Senate filibuster — opposite the stance of Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a moderate Democrat who opposes ditching the rule.
In a February Data for Progress survey, 61 percent of likely voters in the state said they favor approving key bills, compared to 26 percent who think it’s more important to “preserve traditional Senate procedures and rules like the filibuster,” though the response differed notably across party lines. Seventy-six percent of Democrats thought approving major legislation was more important, as did 66 percent of independents, while just 42 percent of Republicans did.
Currently, because of the legislative filibuster, most bills require 60 votes to pass, giving Senate Republicans the ability to stymie major Democratic priorities, including voting rights legislation, gun control measures, and immigration reform. If Democrats were to eliminate the filibuster, a stance that the full caucus — including Arizona Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) — has yet to back, they’d be able to pass such bills with just a simple majority, or 51 votes. (Democrats hold 50 votes in the evenly divided chamber, but if the caucus sticks together, Vice President Kamala Harris can cast a tie-breaking vote in their favor.)
This data indicates that the majority of Arizona’s likely voters would back a procedural change in the Senate if it was needed to approve important legislation, an issue that Democratic lawmakers will likely have to confront later this term as they weigh what, if anything, to do about the filibuster.
Vox noted that “At the start of this term, [Sinema] was one of two Democrats who publicly reaffirmed her backing for preserving the filibuster, alongside Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).”
The poll also found “that 62 percent of all likely Arizona voters support gradually increasing the minimum wage from the existing $11 in the state to a federal standard of $15.”
Recently, Sinema voted against overruling the Senate parliamentarian and including a minimum wage hike in the budget reconciliation process. A $15 minimum wage has the backing of 89 percent of Democrats, 54 percent of independents, and 42 percent of Republicans in the state.
Image: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) gives an exaggerated thumbs down to raising the minimum wage to $15. (Screengrab / Bloomberg Quicktake: Now / YouTube)