President Donald Trump’s nickname for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and her ongoing fight with the commander-in-chief may have helped her in the polls as she seeks re-election to a fifth term in the Senate against fellow Democrat rival state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).
“By mocking the Democratic senator with a nickname, Donald Trump did her a big favor,” Politico notes in an article highlighting the 84-year-old senator’s ability to “roar back” and virtually eradicate the vulnerabilities she had displayed early into her reelection campaign.
In a tweet following her release of the transcript of a Fusion GPS official’s August behind-closed-doors interview about a fabricated Russian dossier alleging collusion between Russia and Trump campaign before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Trump nicknamed Feinstein, the committee’s ranking member, “Sneaky Dianne Feinstein.”
He wrote, “The fact that Sneaky Dianne Feinstein, who has on numerous occasions stated that collusion between Trump/Russia has not been found, would release testimony in such an underhanded and possibly illegal way, totally without authorization, is a disgrace. Must have tough Primary!”
The fact that Sneaky Dianne Feinstein, who has on numerous occasions stated that collusion between Trump/Russia has not been found, would release testimony in such an underhanded and possibly illegal way, totally without authorization, is a disgrace. Must have tough Primary!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2018
While President Trump’s renowned nickname-game has helped him bring many of his opponents down, it may have helped boost Feinstein, who is competing for votes in a deep blue state where President Trump is vehemently opposed.
A poll released last week by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPPIC) shows Feinstein leading De León by nearly 30 percentage points. Politico notes that “Feinstein posted close to $10 million in cash on hand, while her challenger, state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, reported raising just $500,000 by the end of last year.”
Last year, Feinstein said of Trump, “I just hope he has the ability to learn and change — and if he can, he can be a good president.” De León reportedly shot back, saying Democrats should “not be complicit in his reckless behavior.”
That seems to have spurred Feinstein to confront the president — and win back liberal support. Dan Schnur, a longtime state political analyst, told Politico, Feinstein “may need to thank de León by the time the primary’s over.”