SACRAMENTO, CA – In a move that has stunned the political world, California has moved its democratic primary to Tuesday, March 12, 2019 making it the first-in-the-nation primary for the democratic party.
With 475 pledged delegates at stake, the winner of the primary will be instantly boosted to front-runner status and shape the narrative of the entire primary season.
The ten presidential hopefuls on the ballot have reacted by abandoning rallies throughout the nation to focus solely on the California race. California Senator Kamala Harris’s campaign announced today that they are organizing sixteen rallies throughout the state between now and next Tuesday. Likewise, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has announced campaign stops in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Fresno, San Jose, and Redding. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has not formally declared his candidacy, will not be on the ballot.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Kamala Harris supporter, explained the move to BeetPress. “California has typically been one of the last contests of the democratic primary race, so the candidate has usually been selected through the other primaries and caucuses. By moving our primary up by over a year, we’ll now have a much stronger voice in who Californians want to compete against Trump”.
CNN’s Chris Cillizza expressed shock and excitement following the announcement stating “this certainly bodes well for Senator Harris who has been endorsed by Governor Newsom, Senator Boxer, and over forty national and state congress-members. If she does well in the primary, we’ll be able to add the qualifier ‘who leads by x delegates’ to all of our campaign reporting on Kamala. Or, you know, whoever wins”.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has praised the move, stating “when we lead with California, we lead with our values,” adding, “Kamala Harris has a strong record of standing up for women and people of color”.
A spokeswoman for Kamala Harris’s campaign told BeetPress via Skype that “our organization in California is strong, and we’re excited about the news. We have been in contact with all of the Senator’s corporate and political supports, we have surrogates canvasing the state, and we’re organizing a massive grassroots effort this weekend to get out the vote”.
Candidates who fail to reach at least five percent support in the California Primary are likely to bow out of the race ahead of the Iowa Caucus scheduled eleven months later on February 3rd, 2020.