Senator Dianne Feinstein fails to receive party backing

WASHINGTON (KGO) -- For the first time, California's senior senator Dianne Feinstein failed to win the backing of her party in a reelection bid.

Neither Feinstein nor her challenger, State Senator Kevin De Leon, captured the 60 percent of votes needed from the delegates at this past weekend's State Democratic party convention. De Leon came closer with 54 percent to her 37 percent.

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On Monday, political pundits are assessing the implications. Jeremiah Garretson is an Assistant Professor of political science at Cal State East Bay. He believes its an indication of how far left the party is swinging.

Many of the delegates are now part of the progressive wing of the party and Feinstein is considered moderate or centrist.

Garretson says, "I think California is changing, the California Democratic party is becoming more diverse, more millennial and she has not been adapting quick enough."

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The 84-year-old has served in the Senate since 1992 and is running for her fifth term.

Her top strategist, Bill Carrick, downplays the lack of the party endorsement. Carrick says, "She (still) has a big lead in all the polls and a big financial advantage."

The June 5 primary election will allow the top two vote-getters to advance to the general election in November. ABC7 News did not receive a response to our request for comments from Senator Feinstein or her office.

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