CA Democrats Reject Feinstein; Signal State’s Leftward March Will Continue

Dianne FeinsteinWhat a difference a few decades make: in 1990, Dianne Feinstein was apparently too far left for California voters, losing a gubernatorial race to Republican Pete Wilson. Nearly 30 years later, she’s not left enough — at least for the state Democratic Party, which has refused to endorse her for a fifth term in the U.S. Senate. She received only 37 percent of delegates’ votes at the late February annual party convention — far short of the 60 percent needed for an endorsement. Supporters of State Senator Kevin de León, who nearly won the endorsement, serenaded Feinstein with the chant “Your time is up! Your time is up!” at the end of her speech.

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Feinstein is often characterized as a centrist Democrat, though she has been reliably left of center. According to the American Conservative Union’s most recent congressional rankings, she scored an 8, on a scale where 100 represents a perfect conservative voting record. Her lifetime rating is 9.15. On the other side, left-leaning Americans for Democratic Action gives Feinstein an 85 rating, on a similar 100 scale. She scored 75 in 2015, 90 in 2014, 100 in 2013 (when she made the list of ADA Senate “heroes”), and a 95 in 2012.

With such a reliably left-wing voting record, why did Feinstein lose the support of the California Democratic Party? Maybe it’s because the party — though not necessarily its voters — is listing so far to port that it’s falling into the deep end. De León’s popularity at the convention was driven by several factors. He’s taken a harder line against the Trump administration than Feinstein, and he’s promoted himself as a young leader with more energy to fight the battles that the party is picking in 2018. De León is a steamrolling union organizer, while Feinstein is a comfortable-in-her-wealth multimillionaire. Insiders believe that de León could be an insurgent candidate who would stir up Trump’s Washington more than Feinstein has.

Since the Golden State became the Cerulean State, public-employee pensions have become a fiscal time bomb, taxation continues to increase, businesses have fled a hostile commercial and regulatory environment, the middle class is finding refuge elsewhere, the poverty rate is the nation’s highest, and the state’s quality of life has been ranked the worst in the nation. The state’s homeless problem is a national embarrassment, its housing crisis goes unaddressed, and its public school system is failing students and parents.

If the state Democratic Party’s shunning of Feinstein is any indication of how voters will mark their state and local ballots this year and in coming elections, these problems will only grow worse. California could become a 2020s version of a 1980s Rust Belt state, where economies, prospects, and populations recede at alarming rates. If the Democratic Party’s leftward swing indeed resonates with voters, California is in more trouble than anyone has previously thought.

Kerry Jackson is the Pacific Research Institute’s fellow in California studies.

This article was originally published by City Journal online


  1. The dems did not endorse anyone this year

  2. The craving for power never ages.

  3. I am an ex Democrat! The party no longer represents my values! Instead it nurtures communistic values with a strong Marxist mentality.

  4. CaliExpat says

    This year’s election will be a litmus test if CA voters choose to save themselves or not…
    I’ll bet this doesn’t end well…

    • Sadly, too many retards and freeloaders are voting common sense out the window. All we can do is hang on or bail out. I’m having a hard time with both.

      • showandtell says

        You’re not alone in that (“having a hard time with both”).
        But for now I want to stay and fight this creeping crud.

  5. California resident and Feinstein and that stupid wetback piece of shit De Leon…Neither of these are worth two cents….

  6. The fight for approval is now between the Leninists and the Trotskyites. Is that sad or what?

  7. Skeptical says

    Illegal A Leons future seems pretty much limited to California, due to the “30 round per second clip…ur…magazine” ban, and other draconian California gun laws he has ignorantly championed. Even that local future has a burning fuse running to it called an unfunded public pension liability. IMHO

  8. Mr. Pickle says

    I will never forgive DF for shutting down half of the So Cal desert areas, starting with SB21 way, way back. California Recreationist’s lost access to millions of acres in the Desert because of her legislation. Her alliance with RADICAL environmental groups says it all. A very rich Socialist for sure………………..

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