California’s veteran senator couldn’t get the party’s endorsement. She’ll probably win anyway, but it’s a big shift.
What happens when a blue wave crashes into one of the bluest states in the union? Ask Dianne Feinstein.
The long-time California Democratic senator failed to secure her own party’s endorsement, coming in nearly 20 percentage points behind her primary challenger among delegate votes at the state party’s annual convention in San Diego over the weekend. 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.
Both fell short of the 60 percent needed to secure the party endorsement, but the shock result served as a jolt of energy for the state’s progressive base as well as a clear warning shot for Feinstein, a prominent figure been in California politics since she was first elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in the 1970s. (She became that city’s mayor in 1978 after the assassination of Mayor George Moscone alongside Supervisor Harvey Milk.)
Nearly two-thirds of the party’s delegates voted against Feinstein, a startling result whose meaning should not be minimized — although it’s still likely she will be re-elected. She leads de León and other primary opponents by double digits in the polls and has substantially more campaign cash on hand. But the party convention result is another sign pointing toward major Democratic victories in the fall.
California has become one of the most liberal states in the nation, yet during her 25 years in the Senate Feinstein has voted for such Republican-friendly policies as the George W. Bush tax cuts, the invasion of Iraq, the Patriot Act, and warrantless spying on U.S. citizens. Even as the party’s platform reaffirmed a commitment to marijuana legalization over the weekend, Feinstein has remained committed in her opposition to the drug, whose recreational use is now legal statewide. While Feinstein has a strong record of supporting a ban assault weapons — an issue currently of top concern to Democrats — she found herself talking about gun control to a mostly quiet crowd at Saturday’s convention. Read more here: https://www.salon.com/2018/02/27/dianne-feinsteins-california-failure-good-news-for-democrats/