The California Democratic Party will not endorse Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s re-election bid this year, with delegates at the party’s annual convention giving the majority of votes to her top primary challenger, progressive State Sen. Kevin de Leon.
De Leon got 54 percent of the vote, compared to 37 percent for the more moderate Feinstein, according to results released Sunday. But neither Democrat will receive the state party endorsement because they failed to reach the 60 percent threshold.
The vote totals were not a surprise, considering the state party’s liberal leaning.
And Feinstein leads de Leon by 29 percentage points in the primary race, according to the most recent RealClearPolitics polls average.
“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,” said de Leon, according to Politico. “California Democrats are hungry for new leadership that will fight for California values from the front lines, not equivocate on the sidelines.”
Feinstein, the oldest member of the Senate at 84, is seeking a sixth term.
Feinstein took heat last fall from some on the left after appearing to voice optimism about Trump becoming "a good president.” Feinstein also recently said that former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which Trump is ending, was on shaky legal ground.
DACA provides a level of amnesty to certain illegal immigrants -- many of whom came to the U.S. as children.
Still, Feinstein will be difficult to beat, considering her establishment support and standing among independents and women, two key voting blocs.
“It will be tough to outflank her in that capacity,” Ben Tulchin, a San Francisco-based pollster, recently said.