Hillary Clinton’s campaign had once hoped the California primary could be a coronation for the former secretary of State, the last major stop en route to claiming the Democratic presidential nomination.
Instead, it has turned into a dogfight with Bernie Sanders, who has been campaigning nonstop through the state. With at least one public poll showing the race now a tie, the Clinton campaign has decided to step up her appearances in the state.
“It’s going to be closer than we thought,” said former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a longtime Clinton backer, adding that he ultimately expected her to win the state.
Clinton was widely expected to win California this year by about 8 percentage points, the same margin by which she beat then-Sen. Barack Obama in the 2008 primary. She and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have forged strong ties to the state’s Democrats during their decades in public life.
“California has been uncommonly good to my family,” Bill Clinton told more than 1,000 people in a courtyard at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College in April when he campaigned for his wife here.