An Oddity in the PPIC Poll: Republicans for De León

Joel Fox

Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily


The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) released its latest poll on California political races and ballot issues with few surprises—with one exception. Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León leads U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein among Republican voters who have made up their mind.

De León’s margin over Feinstein is 25% to 18% with 55% of Republican voters undecided. But given De León as a champion of the left—author of the sanctuary state bill, forcing single payer legislation through the senate—plus taking a firm stance against the policies of Republican president Donald Trump this result seems outside the political box.

Feinstein, on the other hand, while a solid Democrat viewed as a liberal nationally and as a moderate here in California, once gave Donald Trump a “chance” to be a good president.

What brought about these poll results?

Is it that voters are looking for new ideas as another of the PPIC poll question indicated in a close result—48% prefer new ideas and a different approach opposed to 42% who favor experience and a track record?

Are Republican voters tired of Dianne Feinstein after all these years no matter what? After all, she is an oft re-elected Democrat so Republicans are naturally opposed to her.

Or is it that the Republican voters don’t know De León and his politics?

Probably a little bit of all those points. However, lack of knowledge about the senate pro tem combined with Feinstein’s long history probably explains a plurality of Republicans support his candidacy over hers.

In the favorable/unfavorable questions asked by the PPIC pollsters, De León is opposed by Republican voters 14% favorable, 26% unfavorable. But Republicans are much harder on Dianne Feinstein, 23% favorable, and 72% unfavorable.

Overall, Feinstein seems to have few worries in her quest for a fifth term. The poll shows she leads De León 45% to 21% Among Democrats she holds a 66% to 16% lead and Independents favor her 40% to 23%. Feinstein also is ahead in all regions of the state.

If a well-known Republican gets into the race that would change the numbers.

De León and his lead among Republicans would undoubtedly disappear.

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