And there’s another reason beyond age that California Democrats might look to someone besides Feinstein: she has long been one of the more conservative Democrats in the Senate despite representing the state that defines contemporary American liberalism. If you’re a California liberal, you don’t have to worry about her age to think that someone else might be a better advocate for your views.
There are Democrats considering running against her, including Kevin de León, who is currently the President Pro Tempore of the state senate. California uses a “jungle primary,” in which all primary candidates run on one ballot and the top two finishers — usually two Democrats in statewide races — face off in the general election. That means that to win, an opponent would have to beat Feinstein twice. But it hardly seems insurmountable — her approval ratings are reasonable but not great, and she’s not the kind of politician who inspires fervent affection. So what it would take to oust her is an opponent (or opponents) willing to take a risk on upending the status quo.
Feinstein is awful. She is consistently on the wrong side of the debate on privacy, surveillance, and war. She’s out of touch, and Californians deserve and need someone who is younger and more connected to the liberal base of the Democratic party.
I will max out to any serious primary challenger, because she needs to go.