Capitol Alert

Closer look: Presidential primaries in California have new-found relevance

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas signs his autograph after a campaign event in Irvine, California. Cruz looks to California as a source of delegates to help him deny Donald Trump an open path to the GOP nomination.
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas signs his autograph after a campaign event in Irvine, California. Cruz looks to California as a source of delegates to help him deny Donald Trump an open path to the GOP nomination. Bloomberg

California’s role in presidential primaries has for the last few go-rounds been vestigial at best. Nominations for Republican and Democrat candidates have been in the bag by the time Golden State voters have their say.

Election math this year increasingly indicates that, though California’s 172 Republican and 546 Democratic delegates probably won’t determine outright who gets into the general election, the most-populous state in the nation at least will have influence more in keeping with its stature as a national leader in many key arenas.

With the California’s June 7 primary approaching, here’s a collection of stories and other information that helps put the state’s position and prominence into context.

▪  Break out the lawn signs: California’s presidential primary is in play

If the race does come down to California, it will be the first time the state’s late-arriving June election has played a decisive role in a presidential primary since the state went for George McGovern as the Democratic nominee in 1972.

▪  How Republicans and Democrats pick California delegates to conventions

District-level Democratic delegates run in pre-primary caucuses; Republicans chosen by presidential candidates.

▪  California’s GOP primary math takes shape

The Golden State’s electoral profile differs in key ways from early primary states.

▪  Is Berkeley Trump country? California Republicans will find out

In some parts of California, the state's new-found relevance in the nominating process has met with angst.

▪  Ted Cruz: ‘California is going to decide the Republican nomination’

“This is the birthplace of the Reagan revolution,” GOP candidate Sen. Ted Cruz said at an Irvine rally. “And let me tell you, there’s a new revolution brewing.”

▪  These 50 California Republicans are endorsing Ted Cruz

The list includes several dignitaries and party elders from across San Diego and Orange County, GOP-rich regions Sen. Ted Cruz hopes will be crucial in his June 7 effort to keep Republican rival Donald Trump from reaching the requisite number of delegates for the party nomination.

▪  Opinion: The Republican effort to stop Trump in California

California’s status of presidential primary irrelevance has been shed because the long road to the GOP nomination will certainly be unsettled when Golden State Republicans vote on June 7.

▪  Is presidential race dimming Californians’ view of the nation?

Californians are souring on the overall direction of the country, with a strong majority now believing the U.S. is seriously heading in the wrong direction, according to a new Field Poll.

▪  Sanders gaining on Clinton in California poll

Rallying a crush of young people and independent voters to his campaign, Bernie Sanders has cut deeply into Hillary Clinton's lead in California two months before the state's Democratic presidential primary, according to a new Field Poll.

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