California Changes May Reshape the 2020 Race

Early primary voting will overlap with contests in Iowa and New Hampshire
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 27, 2018 1:30 PM CST
California Moves to Make Earlier Impact on 2020 Race
In this Nov. 17, 2018, file photo, Sen. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat, and possible 2020 presidential candidate, and then Mississippi Democratic Senate candidate Mike Espy, attend an event in Jackson, Miss.   (AP Photo/Jeff Amy, File)

Go west, 2020 presidential candidates? Early voting in California's primary will overlap with the traditional early nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. That could force the sprawling field of Democrats to navigate those states as well as California's notoriously complex landscape, where campaigning is done through paid political ads, per the AP. The nation's biggest and second-most-diverse state has long complained about being effectively shut out of the presidential nominating process because its primary usually comes months after the initial four contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill moving the state's primary up to the earliest date permissible.

California is slated to vote on March 3, the first day allowed for a state that's not in the traditional early state lineup. And because of California's early-voting system, voters will get primary ballots starting 30 days before the primary, which coincides with the Iowa caucuses. California won't be the only state voting on March 3. It will join at least eight others—including another behemoth, Texas—on what's known as Super Tuesday. It's possible that more states will move their primary dates up to increase their clout, especially since California has jumped to the front of the pack. Once Super Tuesday is over, a huge percentage of Democrats will have voted, making it hard for candidates who aren't in first to catch up.

(Read more California stories.)

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