Steve Bannon, former consigliere to President Trump and current head of Breitbart News, gave a speech at the fall convention of the California Republican Party. The address was vintage Bannon, praising President Trump, excoriating the Republican establishment, and championing his brand of economic nationalism. The speech roused Hugh Hewitt, a radio talk show host and cable news commentator to offer an outside-the-box suggestion.

Bannon has gone to war against the GOP Senate

Besides running Breitbart, Bannon has set about trying to find primary opponents to run against every Republican senator, except for Ted Cruz who is up for reelection.

The theory is that the Republican senators have been squeamish about passing President Trump’s agenda, as evidenced by the failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. Senators who had been primaried would get the message and start hewing more toward the Trump line or else get replaced.

However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has expressed the fear that electable Republican senators may be replaced with unelectable fringe candidates, placing GOP control of the Senate in jeopardy. Trump seems to have been persuaded to this view and has come out in support of several Republican senators who have been targeted by Bannon.

What would Bannon’s chances be in California?

Hewitt’s idea of Bannon running for the Senate in California is a beguiling one. Democrats dominate the state’s politics as feudal lords do a medieval kingdom.

Top Videos of the Day

As a result, California is a high tax, profligate spending state that is in economic decline. The state could be ripe for the kind of insurgency, outside-the-box campaign that Bannon is certain to wage.

Feinstein is in her eighties and yet wants to serve at least one more term in the Senate. The Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party is looking askance at the idea, regarding the long-serving senator as insufficiently progressive. She has already drawn a primary opponent in the form of State Sen. Kevin de Leon

To be sure, Feinstein is still a favorite to win, both against De Leon and any other primary opponent and Bannon or any more conventional Republican in the general election. Still, a Bannon run for the Senate would not lack for excitement. He is colorful and eloquent, and the media will pay close attention to him. Indeed, in Breitbart, Bannon has his own media empire that will be at his beck and call.

The virtue of a Bannon run would be that California Republicans have little if anything to lose. A more conventional candidate would almost certainly get crushed. Bannon might just be able to sell populism in the formerly Golden State and pull off an upset.