Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona announced today that she is becoming an Independent, making for three Independents, all of whom will still caucus with the Democratic Party.
The other two Senators are Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, who have been Independents in the Senate for 16 years and 10 years respectively.
Altogether, Sinema becomes the 11th US Senator since the passage of the 17th Amendment in 1913, calling for popular vote for the Senate, to become an Independent for a substantial period of time.
Sinema is unreliable in her vote, with an early progressive background two decades ago, but much more conservative once she came to the House of Representatives in 2013, and the US Senate in 2019.
But on most matters, the Democrats are in a better position with 51 Senators including three Independents than the present 50 Senators and two Independents.
It is clear that the Arizona Senate race in 2024 will be a three way race, of Independent Sinema, Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego (who was planning to challenge her for the nomination), and a Republican opponent.
So Sinema could keep her Senate seat theoretically with less than a majority of the vote in a three way contest!