Half of California’s Republican voters were undecided before Feinstein upended the Kavanaugh nomination process
Legal Insurrection readers may recall my recent post on California’s November ballot and the poll that indicated Senator Dianne Feinstein has only an 8-point advantage over progressive challenger, state senator Kevin de León. For the incumbent, this should be a troubling number, particularly when her challenger is leading among Republican voters.
For Feinstein, one worry is support among the Republicans, who have no candidate of the Senate race. De León, despite positioning himself as a more progressive candidate than Feinstein, has 5-point lead among Republicans. Still, nearly half of Republicans in the poll said they are undecided.
These results were published a few days before Feinstein decided to upend the nomination process of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court by releasing news of the letter by leftist professor Christine Blasey Ford accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault over three decades ago. I suspect that Feinstein was partly motivated to gain some progressive street cred by scuttling Kavanaugh’s nomination, thereby winning re-election easily.
So how is that working out for Feinstein? That remains to be seen.
Feinstein’s challenger added fuel to the fire, albeit from a leftist perspective.
. . . Feinstein’s failure to publicize the contents, or to share them confidentially with her fellow lawmakers, has proved controversial, leading to criticism from both the left and the right. De León’s campaign has been quick to jump on the news, putting out a press release about Feinstein’s “failure of leadership” and asking why Feinstein waited months to “hand this disqualifying document over to the federal authorities” while she “politely pantomimed her way through last week’s hearing without a single question about the content of Kavanaugh’s character.”
Unfortunately for de Leon, using this issue against his rival has opened himself up to attacks.
Kevin de León, Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s November opponent, accused her last week of “gross misconduct” for waiting months to flag a sexual assault allegation against Brett Kavanaugh — seizing on the Supreme Court firestorm to jump-start his long-shot campaign.
Now de León is facing a backlash for his own handling of sexual harassment on his watch in the California Legislature, which has been rocked by allegations of pervasive sexual misconduct.
Allies of Feinstein in California’s Democratic establishment have rallied behind the state’s senior senator, repudiating de León’s critiques as acts of political opportunism from a trailing candidate looking to build his profile.
However, there is another approach de Leon could take: Pursue the allegations that a Chinese spy was on Feinstein’s staff, the news of which has been smothered by a disinterested media.
From the start, this was a story the media had no interest in covering. Now it is apparent that our political class has no interest in probing it.
The reporting on Feinstein was limited to a few outlets — ignored by large newspapers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, and major networks, excluding Fox News, which provided scant details as to what transpired and downplayed the potentially dire ramifications of the alleged breach.
The press took at face value boilerplate statements from Feinstein’s office seeking to dispel any suggestion that the Chinese had penetrated her office, with nary a question directed at the senator herself as she enjoyed her tranquil August recess.
Instead of parroting #Resistance nonsense, de Leon should take a page from President Trump’s playbook and hammer home the power-based privilege Feinstein has enjoyed at the expense of California. He might be able to peel off even more Republicans and find a way to win.DONATE
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