Will it make a difference?
Last week, Fuzzy blogged that California was contemplating moving its presidential primary from June to March. Earlier today, the lawmakers voted to do just that. However, Gov. Jim Brown hasn’t said if he will sign the bill. From The Associated Press:
A March primary would likely fall on so-called Super Tuesday, when about a dozen states typically vote following early contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and several other states.
“Candidates will have to spend more time in California,” said Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, a Democrat from San Francisco.
An earlier primary could give an edge to well-funded candidates.
California is home to 11 media markets, making it an expensive state to campaign in.
It is easier for candidates with limited money to compete alongside financial heavy-hitters in early primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. In 2016, for example, John Kasich took second in New Hampshire with limited money, while Jeb Bush, who had raised more than $100 million, placed fourth.
“The cost of playing in California versus playing in New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina is incredibly different,” said Mike Biundo, Republican Rick Santorum’s 2012 campaign manager who later worked for Messrs. Kasich and Trump. “A Jeb Bush or a Hillary Clinton, I think, have the advantage if California is earlier.”
An earlier primary, especially one held on Super Tuesday, wouldn’t mean every candidate will spend more time in the state. In 2016, for example, Texas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Virginia and eight other states voted on that day.
And it doesn’t ensure the political relevance that California lawmakers crave. The last time California voted early—in February 2008—the state backed Ms. Clinton, but Barack Obama went on to win the Democratic nomination and the presidency.
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