Dianne Feinstein failed to win the official endorsement of the California Democratic Party as she seeks her fifth term, another sign that the party is divided over how best to battle Republicans in Washington.
De Leon got 54 percent of the vote, compared to 37 percent for the more moderate Feinstein, according to results released Sunday. She holds a lead over de León of almost 30 percentage points - 46 percent to 17 percent ― in a recent poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California.
"The Democratic Party tends to endorse incumbents", said Rose Kapolczynski, a veteran California Democratic strategist who ran former Sen. Supporters of Feinstein are still optimistic as they believe the party snub will not hurt the Senator when it comes to the broader base of voters that will ultimately decide the election. Carrick says, "She (still) has a big lead in all the polls and a big financial advantage".
The top-two primary system in heavily Democratic California allows the two highest vote-getters to advance to the general election regardless of party identification. They were annoyed that she didn't take a harder line on former FBI Director James Comey's abrupt termination a year ago, or that she is much more of an ally of the intelligence community than of Silicon Valley on the encryption question.
The longtime senator focused on her specific legislative record, including on gun control and sexual assault, saying she's a long fighter for Democratic values with the clout to get things done. Many of them don't like her pragmatism on law and order issues or her unwillingness to fight President Donald Trump on everything he tweets and everything he proposes. She pledged to do it again if elected.
"She shows up now that she's being challenged", said Ana Gonzalez of San Bernardino County.