California's presidential nomination power play
The Democrats who run the nation's largest state are tired of being ignored in the presidential nomination process. They want to be able to swing a lot more weight in the Democratic Party's choice of candidates. And they want to swing it in the 2020 race. If they succeed, they will help pull the national party even farther to the left.
Gabriel Sites and Gabriel DeBenedetti of Politico write:
California is pushing forward with a plan to change the state's primary date from June to March, a move that could scramble the 2020 presidential nominating contest and swing the early weight of the campaign to the West.
If adopted by the legislature this week – as is widely expected – and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, the early primary would allocate California's massive haul of delegates just after the nation's first contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
This would immediately favor two possible Californian contenders, Senator Kamala Harris and L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti. Both are photogenic and well under 70, which makes them unusual in the current gerontocracy running the party.
[Former DNC chair Don] Fowler said: "The implications for the flow of the winnowing process [of candidates] is very significant in moving California."
California for years has sought to exert greater influence in presidential elections. Despite its size, the state has been a relative afterthought in national campaigns, marginalized not only because of its late primary, but also because of the high cost of campaigning here.
The California media will no doubt be grateful for the extra media spending by national candidates for the primary. They will continue their policy of benign neglect of the corruption and decline the state is experiencing under Democrat rule.
Heightening California's influence in the nominating process would pull the Democratic Party toward the left, and perhaps instill the autocratic habits that come with sustained one-party control in future Democrats in the Oval Office. It is also would heighten the likelihood of a Hispanic or Asian or mixed-race nominee, as the two current presumptive beneficiaries of the scheme demonstrate.