California’s primaries are currently held in June; however, legislation is expected to be signed by Governor Jerry Brown (D) next week that would move them to March.

This move would place California’s primaries right after Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.  Further, the move would tilt the donor and electoral tables heavily in Senator Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) favor.

Politico reports:

California is pushing forward with a plan to change the state’s primary date from June to March, a move that could scramble the 2020 presidential nominating contest and swing the early weight of the campaign to the west.

If adopted by the legislature this week — as is widely expected — and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, the early primary would allocate California’s massive haul of delegates just after the nation’s first contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

The earlier primary could benefit at least two potential presidential contenders from California — U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti — while jeopardizing the prospects of other candidates who will struggle to raise enough early money to compete in expensive media markets in the nation’s most populous state.

“In all probability, the winner of the California primary would be the nominee,” said Don Fowler, a former Democratic National Committee chairman from South Carolina.

While acknowledging that “a lot of this rationale this far in advance just is completely wrong,” Fowler said, “The implications for the flow of the winnowing process [of candidates] is very significant in moving California.”

California for years has sought to exert greater influence in presidential elections. Despite its size, the state has been a relative afterthought in national campaigns, marginalized not only because of its late primary, but because of the high cost of campaigning here.

An early and coffer-breakingly expensive California primary would push out both relative unknowns like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and the untested like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, while potentially hobbling even well-known but radical Democrat presidential hopefuls, including Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and even Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).


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