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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

California Tuesday: Turning Point for Dems?

In the wake of reports that Hillary Clinton has won the delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination for president and a near melt-down of the Trump campaign, the primary in the nation’s most populous state has lost some its political lustre. As the nation’s ‘vanguard’ state, however, the close Democratic race in California is still of interest and will likely have an effect on how soon Democratic rank and file unite behind one candidate.
At New York magazine’s Daily Intelligencer, Ed Kilgore notes that “Clinton has led every single public poll taken in the state, 19 in all,” but, If Sanders “does edge Clinton, the show may go on for another month or so before its inevitable closing.”
In Andrew Prokop’s’ Vox post, “Primary elections 2016: today’s poll closing times and what to expect” he explains “Now, the race in California appears tight — Sanders hasn’t led a single poll of the state, but he trails by just 4 percentage points in the HuffPost Pollster average. By contrast, New Jersey looks like a blowout for Clinton, and the other (small) states have scarcely been polled.”
As for Sanders’s afirmation that he will continue to campaign regardless of the California and New Jersey results, Prokop wites,

There is reason to be skeptical of Sanders’s pronouncements, though. Presidential candidates have often argued that they’ll fight all the way until the convention, only to reverse course when defeat is finally unmistakable. And Matt Yglesias argues that Sanders will likely do the same.
Whatever Sanders’s intentions, Hillary Clinton has already moved on to the general election and focused on beating Donald Trump. Indeed, according to recent reports from The New York Times and CNN, several key Democratic figures who have remained neutral so far, like President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, will likely endorse Clinton in the coming days, as an effort to signal to Sanders that it’s time to throw in the towel.

In any case, the Clinton campaign has already moved on, making Trump the focus of their attacks. Whether or not she has the needed pledged delegates in a few days or weeks, she is laser-focused in general election mode, and not looking back.
Democrats have a rare opportunity for a wave election, and if they can unify behind their nominee in the coming days and weeks, they can lead America forward to an exciting new era of progressive change.

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