Sen. Bernie Sanders isn’t conceding California in the Democratic presidential primary race to home state Sen. Kamala Harris. Far from it. Top Sanders campaign officials say he’s planning to have field offices and run commercials across the nation’s most populous state.
“We’re going to have a robust campaign in California.” said Ben Tulchin, Sanders’ San Francisco-based pollster, adding that “Bernie is extremely well-positioned” in California. “It will be a well-funded media and field campaign.”
A lot has changed in Sanders’ world since his 2016 presidential campaign, when he lost the California primary — and the Democratic nomination — to Hillary Clinton. The Vermont independent wasn’t well known then outside his home territory, so his campaign was largely focused on introducing him to voters, particularly in Latino and African American communities.
Now, Sanders is topping most polls among the “announced candidates” — as in, not including former Vice President Joe Biden or former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke. Roughly half his support comes from Latinos and African Americans, some surveys suggest. Sanders’ favorability rating among Latino voters is 59 percent, according to a recent poll — higher than the rest of the announced field.
That has Sanders’ campaign predicting he will do well in the early states with large numbers of Latinos, including California and Nevada. If Sanders can corral Millennial and independent voters as he did in 2016, “we think that’s a winning coalition in California and beyond,” Tulchin said.
Combine that with the $10 million that Sanders raised in the week after he announced his 2020 campaign, and his top operatives feel they’re in a much better position than last time to compete in big states like California.
More news/videos/tweets/etc. in the comments.