Majority Of California Democrats Believe Sen. Dianne Feinstein Can No Longer Serve: POLL

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
Font Size:

A majority of Californians, including Democrats, believe Democrat Dianne Feinstein is no longer fit to serve in the Senate, according to a poll released Thursday.

Two-thirds of registered California voters, including 63% of Democrats, believe Feinstein is no longer fit to serve, a poll conducted by the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies found. Forty-two percent of voters believe Feinstein should resign and allow Democratic state Gov. Gavin Newsom to appoint her successor, while 27% believe she should finish out her term. Feinstein has already pledged to retire at the end of the 118th Congress.

Feinstein, 89, recently returned to the Senate after a two-month long absence due to her bout with shingles. She also reportedly suffered from brain inflammation known as encephalitis and a facial paralysis known as Ramsay Hunt syndrome, both of which are side effects from the virus. The senator has been heavily protected by staff, as well as Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, and has reportedly expressed confusion about her absence. (RELATED: Trembling, Confused Dianne Feinstein Asks ‘Where Am I Going?’ As She’s Rolled Back In To Work As A US Senator)

Several House Democrats called on Feinstein to retire during her absence, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and California Rep. Ro Khanna. Newsom previously pledged to appoint a black woman to finish out the term in the event of Feinstein’s resignation or death. (RELATED: Dianne Feinstein Asks To Step Down From Key Senate Committee)

Feinstein sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and her absence created a deadlock on the committee that prevented it from advancing several key nominees. Senate Democrats sought to have another member waived onto the committee during her sick leave, but Republicans objected. The committee advanced six nominees in one day upon her return.

California Reps. Adam Schiff, Barbara Lee and Katie Porter have all declared for the Senate seat that Feinstein will vacate in 2025. The Berkeley poll found Porter holds 17% support, followed by Schiff with 14% and Lee with 9%.

Berkeley polled 7,465 California registered voters from May 17-22, with a margin of error of approximately +/- 2%.