Shocker! California Dems Decline To Endorse Dianne Feinstein For Re-Election! Meaning?

Lucy Bush
March 1, 2018

Dianne Feinstein, the California Democratic Party has declined to endorse the state's own senior senator in her bid for reelection. "State Senate leader Kevin de León, who is challenging Feinstein from the left, won the support of 54 percent of the Democratic delegates, compared to 37 percent support for Feinstein". But neither Democrat will receive the state party endorsement because they failed to reach the 60 percent threshold.

"The outcome of today's endorsement vote is an astounding rejection of politics as usual, and it boosts our campaign's momentum as we all stand shoulder to shoulder against a complacent status quo", de León said Sunday.

California Democrats didn't endorse in the governor's race, the state's other marquee contest this year. De Leon has billed himself has a more progressive politician than Feinstein offering a fresh outlook to the party.

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The Political Research Quarterly found that in California's "top-two" election system, the Democrat endorsement generated a gain of between 7 and 15 percent of primary votes.

Feinstein's oppostion to single-payer health care, her anti-marijuana stance, and her repeated votes for President Donald Trump's nominations angered many California Democrats.

The LA Times notes that "California has grown more liberal, Feinstein has angered part of the Democratic Party's base by her perceived moderation, including her call for "patience" with President Trump." Add in the fact that there is no Republican candidate in the race and the approaching showdown between Feinstein and de Leon was a foregone conclusion.

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And therein lies the central gripe with Feinstein in the minds of progressive activists in California: she is too willing to make a deal in the typical Washington sense of the word than fighting for the left's principles.

The longtime senator focused on her specific legislative record, including on gun control and sexual assault, saying she's a long fighter for Democratic values with the clout to get things done.

At 84, Feinstein is the oldest member of the Senate.

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