California Democrats are increasingly turning their back on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and believe she should be replaced as the leader of the Democratic caucus regardless of whether the party can retake House control, according to a new state-wide poll.
The survey by U.C. Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies found that less than one-third of the state’s Democrats believe Pelosi should remain as leader if the party regains the majority in 2018, the Sacramento Bee first reported Wednesday night. A whopping 44 percent would prefer that another lawmaker take on the leadership duties, while the remaining 26 percent had no opinion.
If Democrats fail to retake the House, the numbers rise to more than half of Democrats in the state wanting their party to tap another leader while just 31 percent believe Pelosi should remain as leader.
The survey was conducted through Sept. 5, before Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D., N.Y.), struck deals with President Trump to raise the debt ceiling and protect children brought to the United States illegally from facing deportation in exchange for promises to strengthen border security.
Pelosi remains a prolific fundraiser for the party and her House colleagues, not California voters, will determine whether she remains as leader.
The poll comes early in the election cycle and questioned those identifying as Democrats in the state, not registered Democratic voters who have voted in recent years.
Still, California political analysts believe the numbers demonstrate a desire among Californian Democrats for a new, younger political guard. That process, they say, began with the departure of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) last year and will continue when Gov. Jerry Brown (D.) leaves office next year.
The U.C. Berkeley poll also found that voters age 18 to 29 view themselves as "strongly liberal" and have much more favorable views of Sen. Kamala Harris, Boxer’s replacement, than her four-term, more centrist colleague, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.).
"This is where the future of the Democratic Party is heading," Mark DiCamillo, the survey’s director, told the Sacramento Bee.
Only 45 percent of all California Democrats surveyed said they planned to support Feinstein if she decides to run for a fifth term next year, while 41 percent said they wouldn’t. Feinstein’s approval rating dropped from 59 percent to 50 percent, while Harris’ approval rating ticked up to 52 percent, the poll found.