California’s presidential primary will be held in March 2020, three months earlier than during the 2016 election. Jerry Brown signed a bill Wednesday to move the date to March.
“We have a greater responsibility and a greater role to promote a different sort of agenda at the national level”, said state senator Ricardo Lara, one of the law’s authors, to the Los Angeles Times. Though California won’t be the only state voting on that date, because of its size, it will certainly be the most influential.
For years, California has been trying to have greater influence when Americans pick a president. In the past, the DNC has offered California a 70-delegate incentive to keep the notoriously difficult-to-campaign-in state from holding its primary until late in the nomination process.
California is an overwhelmingly Democratic state ― roughly 45 percent of state voters are registered as Democrats, versus 26 percent as Republicans. “The prime-time primary will lift up the voices of Californians on issues where we are leading the nation if not the world”.
California’s primary has traditionally been held in June, at the tail end of the presidential primary schedule, diluting the impact of the state with the largest number of electoral votes.
“Too often California is relegated to serving as a political ATM for presidential candidates”, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D), a sponsor of the bill, said in September.
California is likely to become a major player in the 2020 Presidential primaries after Gov. An earlier primary could give an edge to candidates with more money.
Hillary Clinton beat Barack Obama in California, but he outlasted Clinton by peeling off a string of states.