Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Sanders drew his signature massive crowds at rallies throughout the state. (Photo: Roger Jones/flickr/cc)

Clinton Scrambles for California as Sanders Challenges for Nation's Biggest Prize

Clinton cancels appearances in New Jersey to try to win back support ahead of California's June 7 primary

Nadia Prupis

As Bernie Sanders launched a campaign blitz in California on Monday ahead of the state's June 7 primary, his presidential rival Hillary Clinton found herself cancelling appearances in New Jersey to catch up with him.

Clinton skipped out on plans to campaign in the Garden State on Wednesday and Thursday in favor of a five-day tour through California, where some recent polls have seen her lead on Sanders shrink to a dead heat—though others have put her a few points ahead.

California will be the nation's biggest primary, where 475 delegates are at stake.

Sanders on Monday held a 20,000-person rally in Oakland—which was briefly disrupted by animal rights activists—where he touched on his central campaign platforms, including universal healthcare and free college tuition, and told the crowd, "If we can win here in California, our largest state, one of our most progressive states, we will go into the Democratic Convention with a great deal of momentum and we will come out with the nomination."

"In virtually every state and national poll, we do much better against Trump than does Secretary Clinton," he added.

In fact, Trump and Clinton ranked nearly even in a new national poll released Tuesday, with Clinton's lead in the hypothetical general matchup dwindling over the past week, while Sanders has maintained a 12-point lead over the presumptive Republican nominee.

Sanders' appearance in Oakland comes on the heels of a series of massive rallies across Southern California, including in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Bakersfield. One supporter told the Los Angeles Times, "Bernie just says what relates to us. He doesn't try to relate to us, he gets us."

No matter what happens in California, where Clinton also secured Governor Jerry Brown's endorsement this week, Sanders reiterated that he would stay in the race until the nominating convention in Philadelphia in July.

Clinton "has received obviously a whole lot of superdelegate support, no question about that," Sanders said. "A lot more than I have. But superdelegates don't vote until they’re on the floor of the Democratic convention. That's when they vote." He said he would focus on reminding superdelegates that he is the most formidable candidate against Trump.

"We're going to go in with momentum and we're going to come out with the Democratic nomination," he said.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Biden Continues Drilling Boom on Public Lands Despite Campaign Pledge, Analysis Shows

"The reality is that in the battle between the oil industry and Biden, the industry is winning."

Julia Conley ·

Big Oil Profits Surge to $174 Billion in 2021 Amid Rising Gas Prices: Report

"Americans looking for someone to blame for the pain they experience at the pump need look no further than the wealthy oil and gas company executives who choose to line their own pockets."

Kenny Stancil ·

Rights Groups Decry 'Farcical and Corrupt' Verdict as Myanmar's Suu Kyi Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

"There are many detainees without the profile of Aung San Suu Kyi who currently face the terrifying prospect of years behind bars simply for peacefully exercising their human rights."

Jake Johnson ·

Campaigners Warn of 'Wave After Wave of Variants' as Long as Vaccine Apartheid Remains

"Omicron is with us because we have failed to vaccinate the world. This should be a wake-up call."

Jake Johnson ·

'Utterly Obscene': Just 8 Pfizer and Moderna Investors Became $10 Billion Richer After Omicron Emerged

"Pharma execs and shareholders are making a killing from a crisis they helped to create," said one justice campaigner.

Jon Queally ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo