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Dianne Feinstein's Failure in California: Good News for the Democrats

Sen. Dianne Feinstein [Credit# AP / Denis Poroy )

California's veteran senator could not get the support of the party. It's likely to win anyway, but it's a big change

What happens if a blue wave crashes into one of the blueest states in the Union? Ask Dianne Feinstein

The longtime Senator of the California Democratic Party failed to secure her own party's approval and came nearly 20 percentage points behind her main opponent among the delegate votes at the annual San Diego state party meeting over the weekend , Senator Kevin de León, who challenged Feinstein from the left, won the support of 54 percent of the Democratic delegates, compared to 37 percent support for Feinstein.

Both missed the 60 percent needed to support the party, but the shock result served as an energy boost to the progressive base of the state and was also a clear warning shot for Feinstein, a prominent figure in Californian politics since joining was first elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in the 1970s. (It became mayor of that city in 1978 after the assassination of Mayor George Moscone along with Supervisor Harvey Milk.)

Almost two thirds of the party's delegates voted against Feinstein, a surprising result whose importance should not be minimized – though it still is probably she will be re-elected. It leads de León and other primary opponents in the polls double-digit and has much more cash available. But the outcome of the party congress is another sign that points to major democratic victories in the fall.

California has become one of the nation's most liberal states, but during its 25 years in the Senate, Feinstein has voted for such republican-friendly policies as the tax cuts of George W. Bush, the invasion of Iraq, the Patriot Act, and the judicial spying on US citizens. Even as the party's platform reaffirmed a commitment to legalize marijuana over the weekend, Feinstein remained engaged in her opposition to the drug, whose recreational use is now legal nationwide. While Feinstein has a strong record in supporting a banning of offensive weapons – an issue that is currently of major concern to the Democrats – she talked at the Saturday Congress about the arms control of an overwhelmingly silent crowd.

The separation from the democratic base is a familiar place for Feinstein. As a candidate for governor in 1990, Feinstein was denied party support for the congress – and was even booed during her speech for reaffirming her support for the death penalty. (In a strange turn, the Republican candidate who defeated them, Senator Pete Wilson, resigned his Senate seat to become governor.) Feinstein ran for Wilson's free seat in the ensuing special elections and won Senate

But what happened to Feinstein this weekend was not just her own or her mixed political record, although personal questions like her age – when Feinstein was elected to the Senate for the fifth time – she still is at the age of 91 In office – often referred to as a source of dissatisfaction among the electorate, national politics seems to play an outsized role in the Golden State.

Democrats have spent months on California as a driving force in the anti-Trump resistance movement However, according to 538 " Trump score ", which determines how many times a member of Congress has voted with the president t Feinstein with his voters in a democratic senator least in line.

Trump, who is reportedly having his first visit to California as president next month, has addressed the state over his support for so-called sanctuary cities. Last week, he threatened to expel the immigration officers from the country's most populous state.

Although Feinstein has been on the left side of the democratic caucus on issues concerning the status of "Dreamers" undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, one of the biggest challenges was de León's long-term support for immigrants drove him Feinstein ahead of the activists of the party. Their harsh rhetoric about "illegal" immigration from the 1990s is currently used by the right wing in national campaigns against immigration reform.

De León called himself "the president of the most progressive parliament in America" ​​and took a not so subtle shard on Feinstein's troubled album on the most controversial topic of the Trump era and promised the party's activists over the weekend, "You never will guessing where I stand. "

Just like California's other leading Democrat, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Feinstein seems disconnected and out of touch with the other big topic for Democrats: health care. While a majority of registered Democrats across the state support the medical care of lone payer, Pelosi and Feinstein, a pair of upper-rank San Francisco, reject such plans. As McClatchy's Emily Cadei noted Pelosi, whose district encompasses nearly the entire city of San Francisco, is "the ruling candidate in her re-election this year." Pelosi stands up the door three left-wing Democrats and a Green Party candidate, but probably not a Republican opponent Feinstein supporters point to their experience and their service in the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Committees and vaguely claim that the Democrats could be harmed if It's just as likely that the opposite is the case: Democrats hope to get up to ten seats in the Battleground House in California, and voter turnout will be crucial – a competitive Democratic primary will certainly increase voter turnout, and the elections in November will be – among the top two systems in California – probably take place between de León and Feinstein. No Republican candidate this year for the Senate or Governor in California has even risen in double digits in public opinion polls.

Approaching what Democrats actually want is almost certainly the way to victory. Consider the first special 2018 elections to be held in two weeks in a Trump-friendly congressional district of Pennsylvania. Even against a Trump supporter in a district Trump easily won, moderate Democrat Conor Lamb runs ads against Nancy Pelosi.

Those who defy Democrats over the party's main policy must see the letter write the wall. As the Democrats continue to expand their polling advantage before the November interim months, they expect to cry and talk about a potential "Tea Party of the Left" – d. H. Puritan and intolerant – Howl. But what happened to Dianne Feinstein over the weekend can hardly be compared to the takeover of the GOP by the Tea Party in 2010.

Democrats who fear a competitive high season are writing a recipe for a stalemate, more gang destruction and their own insignificance. Those who see the wave coming, exploiting the energy to win voters, and striving to adopt a truly progressive agenda may have a future.

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