Dianne Feinstein’s California Failure: Good News For Democrats

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/​2​0​1​8​/​0​2​/​2​7​/​d​i​a​n​n​e​-​f​e​i​n​s​t​e​i​n​s​-​c​a​l​i​f​o​r​n​i​a​-​f​a​i​l​u​r​e​-​g​o​o​d​-​n​e​w​s​-​f​o​r​-​d​e​m​o​c​r​a​ts/