Senator Feinstein approval falls to new low in California

LOS ANGELES Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:07am EDT

U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) speaks about START Treaty on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 15, 2010. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang

U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) speaks about START Treaty on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 15, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Hyungwon Kang

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California voters give Senator Dianne Feinstein the lowest approval rating of the powerful Democrat's nearly 20-year career in Washington, according to a poll released on Friday.

The Field Research Corp poll estimated voters who do not want Feinstein to win reelection in 2012 to another six-year term at 44 percent, compared to 41 percent who favor her.

That is the first time the Field Poll has seen a larger share of voters say they are opposed to seeing Feinstein win reelection compared to the percentage who favor her election.

Feinstein is chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and has a reputation for being more conservative than California's other Senator, Barbara Boxer, also a Democrat.

In nearly every Field Poll over the past two decades, voters who approved of Feinstein outnumbered by double-digit margins those who disapproved, researchers said.

But the Field Poll showed only 41 percent said they approved of her job performance while 39 percent disapproved, representing the lowest rating of Feinstein's tenure.

"There really isn't anything in the news about Feinstein that would necessarily precipitate that decline," Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo said.

"So I think it's just the view of the overall (Congress) that is really dragging everyone down, and Feinstein is being hurt because of it," he said.

Feinstein has generally received higher approval ratings than Boxer in California, a state that is normally a bedrock of support for Democrats. The Field Poll results for Boxer, who is not up for reelection next year, showed 39 percent of voters approve her job performance while 42 percent disapprove.

A spokesman for Feinstein, who was first elected to the Senate in 1992 after a long career as San Francisco's mayor, could not be reached for comment.

California voters' unfavorable view of Congress has been climbing in recent years. In the latest Field Poll, the percentage of respondents who disapprove of how Congress is doing its job stands at a record low of 86 percent.

Feinstein has not said whether she plans to run for reelection in 2012, and her office has said that a campaign treasurer who was recently arrested stole a giant share of the funds she might use to win over voters.

The Field Poll was conducted as a random sampling of 1,001 registered voters interviewed by phone between September 1-12.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Peter Bohan)

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Comments (3)
actnow wrote:
Senator Feinstein is exactly the type of old school, anti-business, illegal immigration promoting politician who is driving up taxes and debt to levels that will destroy our nation, our workers and our childrens futures. I only hope the voters realize this before it’s too late.

Sep 16, 2011 11:10am EDT  --  Report as abuse
zotdoc wrote:
I hope the californians vote her out next cycle, along with Boxer

Sep 16, 2011 12:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Senator Feinstein had been in the California because, for many years she gave the impression that she felt the pulse of the Californians.

The embezzlement loss from her longtime Treasury raised issues about her economic management, and her ability to supervise her closest staff. And it can’t come at a worse time, when money matters are supreme, and ideology is second for quite a few Caifornians.

Sep 17, 2011 2:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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