Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) is facing a significant drop in fundraising as the deadline for her reelection decision approaches. According to a recent Federal Election Commission report, Sinema’s campaign contributions have reached their lowest quarterly total in the current cycle, according to Politico.
In the final quarter of 2023, Sinema raised just $595,000, a stark contrast to the fundraising achievements of her potential opponents. Her main Democratic challenger, Rep. Ruben Gallego, reported raising five times that amount in the same period, while probable Republican contender Kari Lake disclosed a $2 million haul.
Sinema’s campaign spending also exceeded her fundraising during these months, with a total expenditure of $749,000, slightly reducing her cash-on-hand, which remains substantial at nearly $11 million. Notably, more than 10% of her fundraising total was used for contribution refunds.
The senator, who switched from the Democratic to Independent party in December 2022, has yet to confirm whether she will run for reelection. Her entry into the race could lead to a three-way contest, adding complexity to the electoral landscape.
Focused on policy work, including border negotiations, Sinema’s attention has been largely diverted from campaign activities. Her fundraising has shown a consistent decline throughout the year, dropping significantly from a high of $2.1 million in early 2023.
Despite efforts to boost funds, including over $124,000 spent on fundraising consulting and more than $141,000 on digital advertising, Sinema’s campaign has not seen a proportional return in contributions. Her campaign has also incurred substantial security-related expenses, including a $100,000 retainer for security services and $77,000 on a security vehicle.
Interestingly, Sinema’s campaign payroll expenses have been minimal, indicating a lack of staffing typically expected in major Senate campaigns, especially in an election year.
The deadline for filing in Arizona is April 8, and Sinema faces the challenge of collecting approximately 40,000 signatures to secure a place on the ballot. Her recent financial report shows no significant expenditure toward signature collection or other ballot-access initiatives, further highlighting the uncertainty surrounding her reelection bid.