In a sign that California Democrats are choosing progressive policies over a more mainstream agenda, the California Democratic Party has chosen to endorse Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)'s challenger, Kevin de León, a state senator from Los Angeles, in the midterm Senate race.
It wasn't even close.
VOTING RESULTS — U.S. Senate:— California Democratic Party (@CA_Dem) July 15, 2018
Feinstein — 22 (7%)
de León — 217 (65%)
No Endorsement — 94 (28%) pic.twitter.com/BoxkNIk4sM
Critics of the group's decision are pointing out that Feinstein, a 26-year political veteran, beat de León by over 30 points in last month's primary. They are "shooting themselves in the foot," according to one social media user. Yes, Feinstein has irked liberals by not being outraged enough against President Trump, even telling a shocked audience last year that he can be a good president. That remark was met with eerie silence, hisses or nervous laughter. Still, she refused to join some of her fellow Democrats in calling for impeachment or trading barbs with the president.
“I have to work with people and a punch in the nose is not going to do it,” she said.
That moderate attitude is obviously not sitting well with California Democrats.
The progressive movement also gained ground in New York earlier this month, when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez upset Rep. Joe Crowley. She painted Crowley as the establishment and included radically liberal proposals like wanting to abolish ICE. De León is cut from the same cloth.
"Today's vote is a clear-eyed rejection of politics as usual in Washington, D.C.," de Leon said in a statement after the California Democratic Party's vote of confidence in him. "We have presented Californians with the first real alternative to the worn-out Washington playbook in a quarter-century."
Can these progressive candidates win wider elections?