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California Is Now an ?Early Primary State.? Democrats Are Grappling With How to Compete.


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Shane Goldmacher
Jonathan MartinOAKLAND
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Faiz Shakir
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The New York Times
SOURCE: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/02/us/politics/california-primary-2020.html
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Summary

Not far away, Jane Sanders, the wife of Senator Bernie Sanders, made a surprise stop at a Chinese food dinner of self-described “Berniecrats.”The next morning, Mr. Sanders and Senator Kamala Harris bumped into each other backstage at a labor breakfast, as more than a dozen candidates crisscrossed San Francisco’s streets for dueling speeches at the state party convention and another nearby progressive gathering.For years, California has been an afterthought in presidential primaries, because it usually votes long after candidates have sewn up their parties’ nominations with wins in other states. “It is an early primary state: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, California.”All of the 2020 campaigns are grappling with the logistical and financial challenges of breaking through in a mammoth state of nearly 40 million residents whose delegates will be awarded based on both the statewide vote as well as the results in all 53 congressional districts.With its multitude of pricey media markets, led by Los Angeles and the Bay Area, California is a prohibitively expensive place to buy television or digital ads at scale, making attention and coverage from the news media and on social media essential.“The problem with California is that you could spend, like, hundreds of millions of dollars and it will feel like you spent five pennies,” Mr. Shakir said. She rolled out a number of new California endorsements ahead of the convention, including more than half of the Democrats in the State Assembly, and in her speech she torched President Trump over what she called his “pathological failure of leadership.” The California-based strategists running Ms. Harris’s national campaign have deep experience in the state, having overseen her past races as well as those of Mr. Newsom and a number of other Democratic lawmakers.But she faces a challenge from candidates like Ms. Warren, who used the California convention to send a message of her own re-emergence, by holding the Friday rally in Oakland; buying a billboard in San Francisco calling to “break up big tech”; stuffing the convention hall with sign-wavers on Saturday; and lacing her stump speech with new lines that appeared aimed at Mr. Biden’s talk of working with Republicans.“Some Democrats in Washington believe the only changes we can get are tweaks and nudges.

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