Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California faces strong competition from a member of her own party, who's running as a progressive alternative to the incumbent, Vox reports.
Feinstein, the oldest senator in Congress at 84, is seeking a sixth term in November. Because California has a "top two" primary system, her challenger, State Sen. Kevin de León, only has to finish second to face her in the general election in November.
De León, 51, came surprisingly close to securing the nomination at the California Democratic Party convention back in February, faces long odds despite party delegates declining to endorse Feinstein.
One of the key factors for California voters in the upcoming election is the state's response to President Donald Trump, who has frequently clashed with Californa legislators and officials over some of the state's liberal laws and policies, especially on immigration.
Feinstein has been criticized by progressives for not standing up to Trump and for some of her more controversial votes in the past, including her support of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the war in Iraq.
According to longtime California political strategist David Mermin, Feinstein suffers from "the perception of being out of date," adding that "People won't say age, but she's the oldest member of the Senate. So when voters do think about people who have been in office for a long time, they don't say they're old; they say they're out of date."
"A lot of Democrats gave us a lot of wind behind our sails, with the belief that it is time for a change," de León told Vox in an interview. "It's time to have a voice that's reflective of today's California, not the California of a quarter-century ago."
He added, "We need a strong voice on the front lines, not on the sidelines, to deal with someone like Donald Trump."
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