SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Californians have their dimmest view ever of Congress, according to a new poll,  and the disapproval extends to both of California’s U.S. senators, raising questions about Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) prospects for reelection next year – if the GOP comes up with a viable challenger.

A record low 41% of Californians approve of Sen. Feinstein’s job performance and 39% disapprove, according to the latest Field Poll figures, released this week. Additionally, for the first time since she was elected, more voters said they were not inclined to give her another term in office.

“It makes her more vulnerable for next year,” Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo reasoned. “However, there right now doesn’t appear to be any major Republicans who have stepped forward to run against her.”

“So, she may be fortunate just by the lack of competition,” said DiCamillo.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) fared even worse in the poll, with 39% of respondents approving of her job performance and 42% disapproving.

Still, DiCamillo pointed out that both Boxer and Feinstein are doing better in the public eye than Congress as a whole.

“It’s just 9% of California voters who say they approve of the job it’s doing. 86%, that’s an all-time high, are disapproving. That’s the highest proportion of disapproval of any legislative body, that would even include the California state legislature, which hasn’t been viewed very positively.”

Former San Francisco Mayor and current political pundit Willie Brown does not believe California’s incumbent senators in trouble.

“I don’t think so at all,” Brown, who joined KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier in-studio on KCBS Friday morning. “I think Dianne Feinstein is a strong as she will need to be. Obviously, there’s nobody that can really challenge her, and I think that her story goes on in that way.”

“Let’s not forget,” added Matier, “that it was just about, what, a year or so ago we were having the same conversation about Barbara Boxer.”

KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier

You can hear Phil Matier’s comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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