A majority of California voters want Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein to resign, according to an Emerson College poll released on Monday.
Feinstein, 89, was away from the Senate from early March until May 10 after being diagnosed with shingles. Approximately 63% of voters in California want Feinstein to leave office, according to the poll. (RELATED: ‘No, I’ve Been Here’: Dianne Feinstein ‘Wheeled Away’ After Apparently Forgetting Leave Of Absence)
Feinstein has a 22% approval rating among California voters for her job performance, according to the poll. When assessed by age, 68% of voters over 50 believe that Feinstein should resign, with 58% of voters under 50 years of age holding the same position.
Feinstein’s absence prevented the Judiciary Committee – from which she asked to be replaced – from advancing President Joe Biden’s nominations for federal judgeships. Her absence also allowed the Senate to pass a bill repealing a Biden administration regulation on emissions for heavy-duty vehicles, which passed 50-49 despite the Senate being controlled by Democrats.
I agree with @RoKhanna. Senator Feinstein is a remarkable American whose contributions to our country are immeasurable. But I believe it’s now a dereliction of duty to remain in the Senate and a dereliction of duty for those who agree to remain quiet. https://t.co/lvaHhLJYsi
— Rep. Dean Phillips 🇺🇸 (@RepDeanPhillips) April 12, 2023
Feinstein’s absence led Democratic California Rep. Ro Khanna to call for her to resign.
“It’s time for @SenFeinstein to resign. We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty. While she has had a lifetime of public service, it is obvious she can no longer fulfill her duties. Not speaking out [about Feinstein] undermines our credibility as elected representatives of the people,” he wrote in April.
His remarks were echoed by Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York on the private social media platform Bluesky, according to the San Francisco Standard, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Dean Phillips of Minnesota.
Former House Speaker and incumbent Democratic California Rep. Nancy Pelosi has defended Feinstein and pushed back on calls for her resignation.
“I’ve never seen them go after a man who was sick in the Senate that way,” Pelosi told reporters in April, according to The Daily Beast.
Feinstein announced in February that she will not seek re-election in 2024, for which California Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff, Barbara Lee and Katie Porter are running, per the New York Times. Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in March that he will appoint a black woman to replace Feinstein if a vacancy occurs in her seat before then, according to Politico.
The poll was conducted over June 4—7, 2023, and surveyed 1,056 registered California voters with an error margin of +/- 2.9 percentage points.
Feinstein’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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