It will be a stormy L.A. election day for the first time in years. Will rain hurt turnout?
The final countdown to California’s presidential primary has just begun — and on one crucial question, the answer is: it could.
An unusually strong wave of voter enthusiasm is sweeping the nation, propelled largely by the anti-Trump forces in both parties. It’s also propelled the Democratic base to the polls in California, which kicks off the presidential nominating contest with an unprecedented voter turnout of nearly 50 million.
That means it’s the most crucial state in the primary season, which is shaping up as the most unpredictable.
The key question is: Can President Donald Trump siphon off some of the electoral enthusiasm that’s already driving turnout across the United States?
Here’s a look at how California’s presidential primary will play out on Election Day.
How the races will play out on Election Day
California’s presidential primary will be a showdown between two candidates: Trump and his Democratic rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The battle for control will be the culmination of months of back-and-forth attacks between the two campaigns.
The general election is still more than four months away, but the Democratic contest has been one of the most closely watched in the country. It promises to determine either the Republican nominee or a potential Democratic contender who could upend the eventual Democratic nominee.
But that question is set to get a lot murkier.
The last-minute campaign of independent candidate Evan McMullin, the former CIA officer and founder of a third-party presidential campaign, threw a major wrench into Tuesday’s primary. It’s possible his candidacy will become a flashpoint for debate over anti-Trump voters in a race that has already become competitive.
But even before the debate, one thing is clear: There’s a lot at stake for the nation’s 50th largest and fastest-growing state.
California has voted Democratic in every presidential election since 1936 — including every election until 2000, when it voted for George W. Bush over Al Gore. With one in 10 voters now registered as Democrats, California’s turnout rate in November could hit even higher than the historic turnout rate of 58 percent in 1956, when