According to new polling released on Thursday, May 13 by the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, California Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein’s approval ratings have been cratering.
Currently, her approval rating stands at a dismal 35% while her disapproval rating is a substantially higher 46%.
To put that into perspective, that is the lowest approval rating that she has ever had since entering the Senate way back in 1992.
The poll sampled 5,036 registered California voters and has a margin of error of 2%.
Congressmen and Senators generally have pitifully low approval ratings, however, and often find ways to win re-election despite that fact. But there are certain things about Feinstein’s current situation that are different from the norm and that may therefore put her in some real danger of being thrown out during the next election cycle.
Is This Time Different?
For one thing, the above numbers, which show Feinstein to be 11 points underwater, are very recent. They come only from January. That signifies that voters are shifting against her in a massive way.
Secondly, the far-left wing of the Democratic Party, which has become quite a force in recent years and only appears to be growing more powerful and more significant, strongly dislikes Feinstein. In the poll quoted above, California voters who identify as “strongly liberal” gave Feinstein approval and disapproval numbers of 45% and 40%, respectively. While that doesn’t put her underwater with this bloc, it is a sign of danger.
Conservatives know Feinstein as a voracious gun-grabber, but by the topsy-turvy standards of current-day California politics, the 87-year-old senator is actually regarded as quite “right-wing.”
In 2018, Feinstein faced a challenge from the left from Kevin de Leon, a far-left LA City Councillor. Though Feinstein ultimately won that election by eight points, that’s not exactly a convincing margin of victory given Feinstein’s personal fame and the fact that longtime incumbents tend to score commanding election victories.
During the confirmation hearings for now-Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Feinstein let slip some praise of South Carolina GOP Senator Lindsey Graham, saying that the hearings he organized were the “best set of hearings that I’ve participated in.” Whatever conservatives might think of Graham, leftists regard him as an arch right-winger, and so Feinstein’s praise did not sit well with them.
More ominously for Feinstein, voters just don’t seem to like her — particularly young voters. Indeed, Alex Padilla, a man who was appointed to fill Kamal Harris’ Senate seats and who is therefore virtually totally unknown to voters, has a higher approval rating than Feinstein. While Feinstein is 11 points underwater, Padilla is 14 points in the green. When a nobody is better liked than you are, that’s never a good sign.
Feinstein’s decline augurs a coming change in the Democratic Party — which is perhaps fitting considering her extreme age. Many other establishment Democrats like her are likely to be swept away in the coming years as well.
Whatever one thinks of this change, it appears to be inexorable.