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Political Editors / February 27, 2018

Feinstein Not Left Enough?

California Democrats decline to endorse the incumbent senator as they push ever further left.

Longtime Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein failed to garner the California Democrat Party’s endorsement on Saturday in what some are speculating may be the early signs of the Democrats’ twist on a “Tea Party” movement. Upstart Kevin de Leon, campaigning on a radical leftist platform, received 54% of the party vote to Feinstein’s 37%. Neither candidate acquired the 60% threshold needed for official endorsement. De Leon explained his rationale for breaking with protocol and challenging Feinstein, saying, “I’m running for the United States Senate because the days of Democrats biding our time, biting our tongue, and triangulating at the margins are over.” He then criticized Feinstein for failing to resist President Donald Trump strongly enough and for her statement of Trump deserving some “patience.”

While it is clear that de Leon may be the favorite with party poobahs increasingly moving hard left, Feinstein is leading in the polls and has raised far more money than de Leon. Besides, she’s the incumbent and an old pro. The question is whether de Leon’s good showing will push Feinstein further left, too.

With the polarization between Democrats and Republicans only increasing, talk of a Democrat blue wave come November may be nothing more than wishful thinking. The fact of the matter is the vast majority of Americans tend to be rather uncomfortable with political extremes, especially when the nation’s economy is seeing rapid growth and improvement due to Trump’s policies and the Republican tax cut. Secondly, the Democrats’ incessant but dire warnings of Trump being a threat to “democracy” based on the Russian collusion conspiracy have thus far provided only to exonerate the president. And while it’s true that leftist voters will turn out against Trump simply because they hate him, running a political campaign based solely on spite is not broadly appealing. Will the hard Left within the Democrat ranks inhibit the party from running electable candidates? Time will tell.

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