Biden expressed hope that inflation will stabilize later next year

So far, Democratic leaders have struggled to avoid answering that assumption. The Arizona Democratic Party has cheered for the move, but the national party is taking a very different tack, clearly hoping to keep its powder dry until it chooses.

If history is any guide, the answer is: they will support whoever is most likely to win. But while this current situation is similar to others from recent years, it has some dynamics we haven’t seen.

There are two other independents working with Democrats: Maine’s Angus King and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders. Both are very reliable votes for the blue side, and because of that, neither is running against a Democratic opponent like Cinema. …

Sinema is one of the two most unpopular members of the Democratic caucus in Washington. … And given the distaste for him from activists and the donor class — with a growing tolerance, from every party’s base, of alleged renegades — it may be more difficult for national Democrats to endorse him or drop out of the race. That goes double because Arizona is a swing state…

Real problems creep in if the cinema seems to have a better shot than the Democratic nominee, whether it’s Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) or anyone else. At that point, the party always wants to back whoever is most likely to win — especially in a year when the party is expected to play comprehensive defense while protecting its narrow 51-49 majority. But selling that decision to a platform that a West Virginia Democrat thinks should vote for party loyalists will be another matter entirely.

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