Feinstein Fails to Receive Party's Endorsement at California Democratic Party Convention

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) / Getty
February 25, 2018

The California Democratic Party did not endorse Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) on Sunday, with just 37 percent of the state's delegates supporting her at the party's convention.

Meanwhile, primary challenger State Senate leader Kevin de León got the support of 54 percent of the delegates, meaning both fell short of the 60 percent needed to secure the party endorsement, The Mercury News reports:

The rebuke of Feinstein by the party delegates comes even though the 25-year incumbent has led polls by wide margins and has received broad support from state party luminaries like Sen. Kamala Harris and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The results were a sign of discomfort among many liberals who believe Feinstein should do more to challenge President Trump — and of de León’s strong connections to the party’s activist left flank. The endorsement contest was a "test of the establishment’s authority and power," de León chief of staff Dan Reeves said before the vote.

Most California voters say they don’t know enough about de León to have an opinion about him. But he had a much more active presence than Feinstein at the convention, working the crowds and hustling between caucus meetings in white sneakers on Friday night.

Despite the rebuke from the party, Feinstein enjoys a large lead in campaign cash and public polling as an incumbent.

De León recently won the endorsement of the powerful Service Employees International Union as he mounts a challenge from the left to Feinstein, who has angered some progressives with her stances on national security and her badly received remark that President Donald Trump deserved "patience."

Trump was crushed in the blue state in the 2016 election, losing to Hillary Clinton by more than four million votes.

Feinstein was first elected to the U.S. Senate in a special election in 1992, and she has since been re-elected to four full consecutive terms. At age 84, she is the oldest person currently serving in the Senate.