Senator Dianne Feinstein easily won re-election Tuesday with 54 percent of the vote, beating out fellow Democrat Kevin De León, a state senator from Los Angeles.
Feinstein, 85, has served in the U.S. Senate since 1992. This will be her fifth full term in office.
Despite her large margin of victory, Feinstein has faced criticisms within the Democratic Party for her decision to seek re-election. In June the California Democratic Party endorsed De León over the longtime incumbent. And last year, while a majority of likely voters approved of Feinstein’s job performance, according to a poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, half of her supporters also said she shouldn’t run again.
De León, who has served as president pro tempore of the state senate since 2010, has positioned himself as a progressive fighter who will bring a “new voice” in Washington, DC.
During his time in the state senate, he authored California’s sanctuary state legislation, as well as bills that move California toward renewable energy and that require California colleges to adopt affirmative consent standards.
He also promised to support Medicare for All if elected to the Senate.
Feinstein has held a considerable lead throughout the race.
A UC Berkeley poll released Oct. 31 showed her leading De León 45 to 36 percent.
Because of California’s “jungle primary” system — which allows the top two vote-getters in the primary, regardless of party, to move on to the general election ballot — no Republicans competed in the race.