Why Kyrsten Sinema jumped the Democratic Party after they took a 51-seat Senate majority
Kyrsten Sinema (Photo by Mandel Ngan for AFP)

Reacting to breaking news that Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona is changing her party registration from Democrat to Independent, two CNN analysts suggested it was a ploy to maintain some of the power she had previously before the Democrats picked up a seat in the recent midterm elections.

Sitting down with "CNN This Morning" hosts Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow, congressional correspondent Lauren Fox was asked about the bombshell announcement made by the Arizona senator who has been a thorn in the side of the Democrats in her first term.

After pointing out, "She has really acted independently, time after time," Fox remarked, "I think the key question of course is where is she going to spend her time? Is she still going to caucus with Democrats?"

"Jake [Tapper] asked that question and it's a key one, she skirted around it and it matters because of the balance of power in the U.S. Senate," she added. "Is she going to continue to serve on her committees and Democrats are going to have the 51 vote advantage, that matters for subpoena power, for how the committees are made up."

Analyst Audie Cornish interjected, "She's being honest and nothing is going to change in the fact she was able to use her status as someone who is inclined to bring Republicans on board to elevate herself in any given discussion."

"She, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, they're able to have a transactional relationship with their own party and extract concessions that benefit them and their constituencies in their state," she continued. "It's not an accident she said Arizona voters half a dozen times and we know in Arizona there were a lot of ticket-splitters in the election. Whether or not she's running in the future, it's fair to say she's trying to maintain the power that she has gained by making this move."

Watch the entire discussion below:

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