'Things could get weird': California GOP could be a key factor in Dianne Feinstein’s fate: report

'Things could get weird': California GOP could be a key factor in Dianne Feinstein’s fate: report
Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California in 2014 (Creative Commons)
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Editor's note: The headline of this article was updated. A previous version of this article stated California Republican lawmakers could decide who will "secede" Sen. Dianne Feinstein. It now correctly reads "succeed." Grammatical errors were also corrected.

California Republican lawmakers could play a key role in deciding who will succeed Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) as lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle continue to call for her resignation.

In a new article published by Politico, senior campaigns and elections editor Steven Shepard laid out a different type of scenarios that could play out in the blue state of California.

Although the state has a history of being widely Democratic, Shepard insists "things could get weird" this time around.

READ MORE: Concerned colleagues say Dianne Feinstein 'shockingly diminished' upon return to Senate: report

"Usually, a Democrat wins a spot in the top-two primary system before going on to trounce whatever sacrificial Republican gets the second spot," Shepard noted.

"But, California Republicans are such a distinct minority group in the blue state — they make up about a third of the electorate — that, this go around, things could get weird," he warned. "The race to replace Feinstein could end up as a Democrat-on-Democrat contest, and Republicans could wind up swinging the whole election. It’s also not clear who might benefit."

Breaking down the current standings, Shepard wrote, "Eric Early, a perennial GOP candidate who is running for Senate, has the support of 18 percent of registered voters. Porter is at 17 percent, Schiff at 14 percent and Lee at 9 percent. The leading Democrat only needs a plurality of 60 percent of the Democratic-leaning vote in California to be the likely winner in November — if that GOP number is real."

He pointed to the results of a recent poll from the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies.

READ MORE: Some of Dianne Feinstein’s colleagues fear that her memory is 'rapidly deteriorating': report

Mark DiCamillo, the political strategist who conducted the poll, explained how the number of Democratic candidates could create a pathway for a Republican candidate to emerge.

“With three [Democrats], that’s when I think you have a greater possibility that the Republican can emerge as one of the top two finishers,” DiCamillo said.

Shepard added, "And, there’s reason to think Republican candidate [Eric] Early could get a boost. Since the primary is being held on 2024’s Super Tuesday, the presidential primary will likely be a big draw, and all of the action is in the GOP race."

But although there is a chance a Republican could emerge, Shepard concluded with a silver lining.

"One thing does seem relatively certain: It’s unlikely a Republican candidate will win," he wrote. "Republicans haven’t won a statewide election in California since 2006, and the best showing for a Republican presidential candidate in recent years was when former President George W. Bush broke the 40 percent mark in 2004."

READ MORE: Susan Collins helps sink hopes of replacing Dianne Feinstein on Judiciary Committee

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