Two years ago, two major Republican campaigns swarmed the California GOP fall convention, confident that they could drum up the support to beat three-term incumbent Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer, who was considered vulnerable because of her low voter-approval ratings.Granted, it's nearly impossible to remove these entrenched Democrat senators in California, although Boxer did sweat it out a bit against Carly Fiorina last year. But keep in mind while Feinstein's numbers are pretty weak, Obama is also under 50% in the state. If he's facing trouble in the state come next November, a very strong possibility, Feinstein could be vulnerable. Having Michael Reagan take her out would be sweet.
This year, as 1,000 GOP activists gather today in Los Angeles for their fall convention, things are different, as even the California Republican Party chairman has no idea who will take on 19-year-incumbent Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein next year - and no major candidates have stepped up.
But the landscape may change soon, analysts said, given Feinstein's recent campaign money problems and a Field Poll released today that gives one of California's most consistently popular politicians a 41 percent approval rating, the lowest of her Senate career.
One person considering a run, The Chronicle has learned, is Michael Reagan, a former conservative talk-radio host and the son of former President Ronald Reagan
Republicans may consider a challenge to Feinstein less foreboding after the survey of 1,001 registered voters found that 39 percent disapprove of Feinstein's performance and 20 percent have no opinion.
For the first time since being elected to the Senate in 1992, a plurality - 44 percent - of Field Poll respondents were "not inclined" to vote for her while 41 percent were. The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
Compounding Feinstein's problems is that her longtime campaign treasurer, Kinde Durkee, has been arrested on charges that she stole or misappropriated $670,000 from state Assemblyman Jose Solorio, D-Anaheim. Feinstein's $5.2 million re-election war chest may or may not be "wiped out," said her campaign consultant Bill Carrick.Longtime GOP Congressman David Dreier, a possible casualty of redistricting, could also be a GOP possibility.
One prominent possible candidate is Rep. David Dreier, R-San Dimas (Los Angeles County), who has served in Congress since 1981. After redistricting put him in a much more competitive district, several GOP insiders suggested he might run for Senate. Dreier had $753,262 cash on hand June 30, according to federal campaign finance reports.