California Senate - Feinstein vs. de Leon


Open PrimaryJune 5th, 2018


Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein (D)*

Bio | Campaign Site

Kevin de Leon

Kevin de Leon (D)

Bio | Campaign Site

California Snapshot

RCP Ranking: Safe Dem
Key 2018 Races:
 GovernorCA-4CA-7CA-10CA-21CA-22CA-24  CA-25 | CA-39CA-45CA-48CA-49CA-50

----------PAST KEY RACES----------

2016: President | Senate | CA-3 | CA-7 | CA-10 | CA-16 | CA-21 | CA-24 | CA-25 | CA-49 | CA-52
CA-3 | CA-7 | CA-9 | CA-10 | CA-16CA-21 | CA-24CA-26 | CA-31 | CA-36 | CA-52
President | Senate | House
2010Governor | Senate | House
2008: President | CA-4
2006: Governor | CA-4 | CA-11
2004: President | Senate

Polling Data

Feinstein (D)
Leon (D)
Final Results------54.545.5Feinstein +9.0
KABC/SurveyUSAKABC/SUSA11/1 - 11/5806 LV4.75036Feinstein +14
Berkeley IGSBerkeley IGS10/19 - 10/261339 LV4.04536Feinstein +9
Emerson*Emerson*10/17 - 10/19671 LV4.14123Feinstein +18
PPICPPIC10/12 - 10/21989 LV4.24327Feinstein +16
Stanford/YouGovStanford/YouGov10/10 - 10/242178 RV3.13629Feinstein +7
KABC/SurveyUSAKABC/SUSA10/12 - 10/14762 LV4.94026Feinstein +14
LA Times/USCLA Times9/17 - 10/14794 LV4.04431Feinstein +13
PPICPPIC9/9 - 9/18964 LV4.44029Feinstein +11
PPICPPIC7/8 - 7/171020 LV4.34624Feinstein +22
SurveyUSASUSA6/26 - 6/27559 LV5.94624Feinstein +22
LA Times/USCLA Times6/6 - 6/17893 RV4.03618Feinstein +18

Race Analysis

10/26/18 -- Dianne Feinstein remains stubbornly below 50 percent, but Kevin de Leon doesn’t seem to be gaining much in the polls.  It will be fascinating to see how things break here, especially if Feinstein loses crossover support from Republican voters.

9/13/18 -- The polling does not show a particularly tight race, but Dianne Feinstein is below 50 percent.  It will be interesting to see how the undecideds begin to break, although to be clear, Feinstein is still the favorite.

----------Race Preview----------

From the Civil War until the 1950s, California was solidly Republican.  But the Republicans who were elected were not Republicans in the modern sense of the word. Instead, like many party members in the West at the time, they hewed to a Progressive line. After the 1950s, Progressive Republicans in the northern portion of the state became Democrats, while conservative Democrats and suburbanites were switching and making the southern reaches of the state more Republican.

Today, California's political divide is more of an east-west split than a north-south one. Democrats represent the coastal areas, while Republicans dominate inland. Overall, the state has become solidly Democratic, in large measure due to the transformation of the suburbs into swing areas during the Bill Clinton years.

The prime beneficiaries of this were California's two Democratic senators who were elected along with Clinton in 1992. The younger of the pair, Barbara Boxer, retired in 2016, leading to speculation that Dianne Feinstein, the oldest member of the Senate, would retire as well.  But Feinstein opted run for a fifth full term.  If successful, she will surpass Hiram Johnson and become the longest-serving Senator in California history.