Half of likely voters surveyed say Feinstein shouldn't seek reelection

(File photo) Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., talks with Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, in July 2017.
(File photo) Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., talks with Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, in July 2017.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

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Poll numbers for California’s senior senator Dianne Feinstein have been declining in recent months. Now, a new survey finds half of all likely voters say Feinstein should not pursue another term.

"Change continues to be a big theme for voters in California," said Mark Baldassare, the Public Policy Institute of California's president and CEO who directed the survey for the nonpartisan research think tank.

According to the phone survey, 54 percent of likely voters approve of Feinstein’s job performance. Six months ago, the Institute of Governmental Studies at University of California, Berkeley, found 59 percent of registered voters approved of her work. 

Perhaps most startling for her supporters is the 50 percent of likely voters participating in the PPIC survey who say Feinstein should not run for reelection.

Baldassare believes pushing the trend toward change is a wave of left-leaning Democrats and independents who are unhappy with both political parties.  

Feinstein, 84, was booed last month in San Francisco after saying President Trump "can be a good president" if he changes his approach. She has been criticized by some for failing to take a stronger stand against Trump and his policies.

Her supporters say Feinstein's decades of experience and seniority are assets when representing California's interests in Congress. She has served in the Senate since 1992 and holds the powerful position of ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

Feinstein’s office did not respond to KPCC’s requests for comments. She has until March 9 to declare her candidacy to run for a sixth term.

The PPIC survey took the pulse of 1,734 California adult residents. Conducted Sept. 10 to Sept. 19, the survey has a sampling error of about 3 percent.