Two of California's Most Prominent Democrats Have Momentum Working Against Them in Tight Elections


Polls are tightening for two of California’s most prominent Democrat candidates with less than two months left until Election Day.

According to Fox News, gubernatorial hopeful Gavin Newsom and incumbent U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein are seeing a lead reduction in their respective races. But their challengers are applying pressure from opposite sides of the political spectrum.

In California, the two top performers in a primary race advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

That means Feinstein faces Kevin de León, a leftist candidate challenging her for the Senate seat she has held since 1993.

The oldest current senator and the state’s longest consecutive political office holder, she has faced mounting criticism from the left for her perceived moderate stances — especially as they concern the Trump administration.

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De León has staked out a platform decidedly to the left of Feinstein’s.

He has articulated a plan to turn California into a “sanctuary state,” which would protect undocumented immigrants in the state from certain federal law enforcement processes. His campaign has also been firm in its denunciation of President Donald Trump and his policies.

In a tweet this week, he took on Feinstein for apologizing on behalf of the protesters present at the congressional hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“We should be praising the protesters and standing outside with them, not apologizing for their actions,” he wrote. “We need a senator from California who will stand up and #RESIST not #ASSIST.”

Feinstein’s lead in the race had dwindled to single digits in a Probolsky Research poll that ended Sunday. One in four people polled in the race had not yet made up their minds.

In a crowded primary field, she saw a commanding lead, earning 44 percent of the vote to de Leon’s 12 percent.

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For Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, an intensifying race takes a more traditional form as he battles against the conservative positions of his Republican rival, John Cox.

At the time of the primary election, Newsom and Cox secured their spots on the ballot with 34 percent and 25 percent of the vote, respectively.

According to the results of the recent poll, the Democrat’s edge had decreased to five points with 17 percent of respondents still undecided.

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Matt Shupe, a spokesperson for the GOP challenger’s campaign, said Cox’s background in business represents the type of leadership California needs.

“It’s about approaching issues like a businessman,” he said. “It’s about reforming a government entity that nobody is happy with.”

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
Professional Memberships
Online News Association
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment