Sanders and Clinton Vying for More than California on Final Big Tuesday
What else can we expect from New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and New Mexico?
It might be hard to believe, but California is not the only state voting in the presidential primaries on Tuesday.
Contests will also take place in New Jersey, North and South Dakota, New Mexico, and Montana—and could have some impact as Bernie Sanders supporters hold their ground against corporate media claims that Hillary Clinton has already clinched the nomination.
In New Jersey, which has 126 delegates available, polls open at 6am and close at 8pm. It is a closed primary, which means that voters must be registered for the political party holding the contest in order to cast a ballot. However, the state does allow same-day registration. Live results will be available here.
Moving further west, North Dakota will hold an open caucus at 7pm local time, and voters are encouraged to arrive at least an hour early. Those in line by the deadline will still be allowed to caucus. As the NWI Times noted, 2016 marks the first year that both Democratic presidential candidates took the trouble of opening up offices in a state that has not voted blue since 1964, although there are only 23 delegates up for grabs. According to FiveThirtyEight, Sanders is expected to sweep the state by 38 percentage points. Track live results here.
Montana, which typically leans Republican but has "elements of a swing state," as ABC put it, is offering 27 delegates in its open primary. As Politico notes, this is an area of the country where Sanders has effectively taken over Clinton's voting bloc, winning eight of nine "Clinton counties" across the map. Voting begins at 7am and ends at 8pm. Track live results here.
And New Mexico, where early registration leaped after visits from Sanders and former President Bill Clinton, will hold its closed primary from 7am to 7pm. Live results are available here.
Exit polls are expected to bring some insight into how various demographics are voting—which could help indicate how California will lean. Politico explains:
Clinton and Sanders’ respective paths through all of the states voting on Tuesday — California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota — include concentrations of white voters, black voters, Latinos, Asians, urban centers, some of the nation’s largest suburbs, seaside communities on both coasts, vast rural expanses, large universities and towns that border either Canada or Mexico.
On Monday, as the Associated Press called Clinton the winner of the Democratic nomination ahead of the day's primaries, Sanders' campaign released a statement urging media not to jump the gun before the party's national convention in Philadelphia in July.
"It is unfortunate that the media, in a rush to judgment, are ignoring the Democratic National Committee’s clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of superdelegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer," said his campaign manager Michael Briggs.
"Our job from now until the convention is to convince those superdelegates that Bernie is by far the strongest candidate against Donald Trump," Briggs said.
In fact, as of Monday evening, while the AP crowned Clinton, Sanders picked up at least one such superdelegate—Pat Cotham of North Carolina, who said Sanders "can beat Trump and we cannot have Donald Trump. The polls show that [Bernie] has a better chance of beating him than Secretary Clinton does. That's just how I came to it."
Ultimately, the most-watched primary on Tuesday will be California, where a total of 475 delegates and 73 superdelegates are up for grabs and where polls continue to indicate it will be a nail-biter to the last moments. Voting in the semi-open primary will take place from 7am to 8pm. Live results will be available here.