Majority of Californians believe Feinstein no longer fit to serve in Senate: poll 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is welcomed back to the Senate Judiciary Committee by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., right, and others following a more than two-month absence as she was being treated for a case of shingles, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2023. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., left, has been delayed in advancing many of President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees because of the 89-year-old Feinstein’s absence. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

A new poll found that two-thirds of California voters believe Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is no longer fit to serve in the Senate due to her ongoing health battles.

The Berkley IGS poll released Thursday found that about 67 percent of Californians said they agreed with the statement, “Feinstein’s latest illness underlines the fact that she is no longer fit to continue serving in the U.S. Senate.”

About 42 percent said the solution was to have Feinstein resign from the Senate, while 27 percent said she should continue to serve in her seat and leave office on her own terms.  

Meanwhile, 31 percent of California voters said they are undecided or are withholding judgement.

The poll noted that more Democratic-leaning voters supported her resigning than Republicans, who are likely opposed to the move because it would allow California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to appoint a new person to her seat.

The poll also found that Feinstein’s approval rating continued to drop, with only 29 percent of the state’s voters viewing her favorably, which is an 8-point downtick from February. 

More than half of the respondents also agreed with the statement, “Feinstein’s health problems are creating serious problems for the Democratic Party’s ability to get judicial nominees confirmed and get important legislation approved.” Just 20 percent disagreed with that statement.  

When asked if calls for Feinstein to resign were rooted in sexism, as former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has suggested, the majority of voters said that the calls were not.

Hillary Clinton said earlier this week in a Time Magazine interview that Feinstein should not resign, saying that “we cannot afford to have her seat vacant.” 

Feinstein returned to the senate earlier this month after being absent for about two months due to her diagnosis of shingles earlier this year.  A spokesperson for the senator confirmed last week that her health complications from shingles were more serious than previously disclosed.

The poll was conducted May 17-22 among 7,465 California registered voters and has a sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.  

Tags California Dianne Feinstein Dianne Feinstein

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