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Poll: Two-thirds of Californians say Feinstein unfit to serve

Five years ago, California voters blessed their senior U.S. senator with a decisive vote of confidence, sending the then 85-year-old Dianne Feinstein back to the nation’s capital for the sixth time instead of a much younger fellow Democrat.

But a poll out Thursday suggests many of those voters now have buyer’s remorse. The Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll found two out of three registered California voters surveyed now say Feinstein, who missed months in the Senate this year due to complications of shingles and reportedly suffers memory lapses, is “no longer fit to continue serving in the U.S. Senate.”

Even so, the poll found voters divided over whether Feinstein should remain in office. While the largest proportion, 42%, said Feinstein should resign from the Senate and allow Gov. Gavin Newsom to appoint a successor, 27% said she should continue serving and 31% were undecided.

“The poll clearly shows that while support for Senator Feinstein has waned considerably since 2018, there is no clear consensus about how the process should play out,” said IGS Co-Director G. Cristina Mora. “This will impact her ability to connect with voters and serve her constituents over the remainder of her term.”

Feinstein’s office had no comment on the poll Thursday morning.

The poll also found a wide-open race to succeed Feinstein when her term ends in 2025. Republican lawyer Eric Early held a narrow lead with 18%, but with Democrats enjoying a two-to-one party registration advantage in California over the GOP, they are expected to hold the seat.

Among Democrats, Rep. Katie Porter led with 17% followed by Rep. Adam Schiff at 14% and Rep. Barbara Lee at 9%.

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Campaign representatives for those candidates had no immediate response Thursday.

But 32% of California voters surveyed remained undecided on their next U.S. Senator, and 10% said they would choose someone else.


Check back for updates.

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