Absent some devastating occurrence, Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for President. The numbers are pretty overwhelming:
Of the states left, all but one are primary states. Hillary does better in primary states, having won 21 of 28, than caucus states, having lost 11 of 15. And, of course, all remaining contests are proportional so she won't be facing any winner-take-all situations. To date, the only state she did not get more than 30% of the vote was Bernie's home state of Vermont. Even in next door New Hampshire she got 38% of the vote.
In terms of participation rates in the Democratic contests to date, of the voters likely to vote Democratic in the General Election, on average 50.8% have participated in primary states and 11.2% have participated in caucus states. So at its Convention in August the Democratic Party has no clear idea what its strength among voters looks like.
The numbers aren't as clear in the Republican Party:
In terms of participation rates in the Republican contests to date, of the voters likely to vote Republican in the General Election, on average 56.5% have participated in primary states and 12.5% have participated in caucus states. So at its Convention in August the Republican Party has no clear idea what its strength among voters looks like.
It is still mathematically possible for Donald to not succeed in the Republican Convention (and for Bernie to beat Hillary). Which brings us to....
This is where things get weirdly serious.
The California Republican Primary is a closed primary, meaning you have to be a registered Republican to vote. Donald Trump has already started notifying independents (and anyone else) to re-register Republican because he knows his strength is not among party stalwarts.
Secondly, of the 172 delegates, 159 are distributed among the Congressional Districts (3 delegates per District) with the winner in the District getting all 3, 10 delegates are at large with the statewide winner getting all 10, plus 3 pre-determined (State Chair, National Committeewoman, National Committeeman).
And so we read Ted Cruz lays groundwork for last stand in California which tells us:
But Ted Cruz may have one last ace up his sleeve: California. The state’s GOP primary race here, which takes place on June 7, the final day of the presidential primary season, is shaping up to be the Texas senator’s last stand of his tenacious run at the Republican nomination. At stake: 172 delegates — more than any other state’s GOP primary.A number of articles point out that Fiorina lost to Boxer in the General Election in 2010. They seem not to understand that Fiorina won the Republican Primary in 2010.
Even if he still loses key GOP races in Indiana and Nebraska in May, California’s large delegate count could help Cruz block Trump’s path to the nomination and force a contested convention in Cleveland in July, said Mark Jones, a Rice University political scientist. “California will be pivotal,” Jones said. “It has enough delegates that it could allow Cruz to turn the tables.”
On Wednesday, Cruz made the surprising move of announcing former GOP rival Carly Fiorina as his running mate, even though he trails Trump in the race. It was seen by many as another strategic maneuver to gain momentum and stunt Trump's progress. Fiorina has a history in California politics, though not a particularly positive one. She lost a Senate race here to Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer in 2010 by 10 percentage points.
California's Republicans are a struggling minority, lost in a sea of left leaning independents and Democrats. But in a closed primary, it's those Republicans who will select delegates in a winner-take-all state-wide and 53 winner-take-all Congressional District mini-contests.
The Cruz camp is going to have to work hard to try to take all those delegates. And Fiorina is part of that effort as noted in With Carly Fiorina as running mate, Ted Cruz has eye on California:
“She’s a known commodity in California,” Mark Meckler, a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, told the McClatchy Washington Bureau on Wednesday. “Her name is well known in California. The question is – too little, too late?”To discount the Fiorina move by the Cruz camp is foolishness disseminated by the liberal left press. Fiorina can help Cruz in the California Republican Primary. After that, California will vote Democratic in the General Election absent the inability to vote because of the great earthquake of 2016. So who cares if she lost to Boxer.
Cruz’s announcement followed victories by the Republican front-runner, Donald Trump, in five states on Tuesday. It came two days ahead of the California Republican Party’s convention in Burlingame, where Cruz, Fiorina, Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are all scheduled to speak.
But Fiorina was widely praised in both her Senate campaign and long-shot presidential bid for her performance in debates, for which she enjoyed a brief surge in polls nationally and among California Republicans last year.
Should Cruz win the nomination, in the General Election Fiorina might offset "The Woman Card" just enough. It's going to be an interesting California Republican Primary campaign season.
California's Democratic Primary campaign season may not be that interesting. Figuring out the delegate selection process is confusing.
California has 548 Democratic delegates, 317 of which are distributed among 53 Congressional Districts and will be allocated proportionately to candidates by District based upon the June 7 Primary results in each District.
An additional 105 at-large delegates will be allocated proportionately to candidates based upon the statewide June 7 Primary results. Then there are 53 pledged party leaders and elected officials (PLEO), distinct from the so-called superdelegates in that they are pledged to presidential candidates based on the statewide results of the Primary.
Finally, there are 71 Superdelegates, including 39 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 2 Democratic U.S. Senators, and some elected State officials beginning with the Governor, each of whom will decide who they will vote for at the Convention. At this time, 48 have indicated they will vote for Clinton.
For some reason, some people think Bernie has a chance in all this mess to come up with sufficient delegates to beat Clinton in the Convention. The average of the most recent polls shows Clinton with 49% and Sanders with 41%. It's hard to imagine Clinton not getting 40% of the delegates, or 220 delegates, from California. But the Democratic Primary is open to independent voters, those who have not registered as a member of another party which gives Sanders a greater potential.
Most likely the remaining Democratic Primaries, including California, will just give Sanders a further opportunity to advance the Republican case against Clinton in swing states in the General Election.