Sunday 11 June 2023

‘Declined Dramatically’: Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Approval Plunges — Again

 Just like Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s health, her approval rating is on a rapid decline.

The 89-year-old California Democrat — who missed more than two months of work after coming down with shingles and other serious ailments, putting her in a wheelchair — appears to have worn out her welcome with Californians.

Approval of the way Feinstein is handling her job has dropped to 30% among likely voters surveyed in Orange and San Diego Counties by the Public Policy Institute of California, The Orange County Register reported on Friday.

“That rating is a more than 10% decrease from March 2022 when approval stood at 41% and a 7% decrease from October 2022 when 37% of adults and likely voters in Orange and San Diego counties said they approved of Feinstein,” the Register reported.

But it’s not just those two counties. In three other geographic regions — Central Valley, Inland Empire and San Francisco Bay Area — Feinstein gets just a 28% approval rating. Just more than a third (36%) approve of her in Los Angeles, but even that rating was an 11-point decline since March 2022.

“A once very popular senator has lost a lot of support because, unfortunately, she’s perceived by both the left and the right as not well enough to do her job effectively,” Fred Smoller, a Chapman University political science professor, told the Register. “She was once very popular, but has declined tremendously.”

In March, Feinstein suffered an outbreak of shingles that spread to her face and neck, causing vision and balance impairments as well as facial paralysis.

The virus also brought on a case of encephalitis, a swelling of the brain that can leave sufferers with long-term memory or language problems, sleep disorders, bouts of confusion, mood disorders, and difficulties walking.

When Feinstein returned to the Senate in mid-May, she was in a wheelchair, with “the left side of her face frozen and one eye nearly shut, she seemed disoriented as an aide steered her through the marble corridors of the Senate, complaining audibly that something was stuck in her eye,” The New York Times reported.

Other polls have found that Californians are tiring of Feinstein. More than two-thirds of voters in a statewide survey think Feinstein is not fit to serve in the Senate, according to a recent poll.

Sixty-seven percent of registered voters in the state say Feinstein’s latest illness, which has left her in a wheelchair, has left her unfit for office, according to a poll conducted by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies.

Poll respondents were asked if 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.”

In addition, on the question of whether she should resign, a plurality (42%) said she should. Another 27% said Feinstein should serve in the Senate until the end of her term in 2025, while 31% said they were undecided.

The poll was conducted from May 17 to 22 and surveyed 7,465 registered voters with random emails in both English and Spanish.

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