U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Wednesday that she hasn’t faced off in a debate against her Republican opponent because she’s heard nothing from her challenger, Elizabeth Emken, that she needed to debate.
“There’s just nothing constructive coming out of their campaign,” said the four-term Democratic senator following a meeting with the Register’s editorial board. She added that she’s been accessible to the public and the media.
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., sits down with the Orange County Register editorial board at the Register’s Santa Ana headquarters Wednesday. Discussion ranged from the Iranian nuclear program response to the attacks in Benghazi and the state of the US economy.
“We’ve been on the road five days last week, two days this week,” she said. “I do regular constituent breakfasts, a couple hundred people a week.”
Emken spokesman Mark Standriff scoffed at the explanation and continued to criticize the incumbent’s failure to debate.
Feinstein noted that she has debated in the past – John van de Kamp and Pete Wilson when she ran for governor in 1990, and Tom Campbell and Gray Davis in two of her Senate races.
Polls show Emken posing less of a challenge than those four. A September Field Poll put Feinstein at 57 percent and Emken at 31 percent, a 26-point margin that grew from a 19-point advantage in July.
Feinstein has a huge financial advantage as well, having spent $12.4 million through Oct. 17 while Emken has spent $745,000, according to federal disclosures.