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2020 Democrats grapple with California’s electoral buzz saw


Soli Alpert poses for photos during the 2019 California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention in San Francisco, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)



Democratic presidential candidates are confronting the Democratic National Committee’s tough standards to get on the debate stage, trying to distinguish themselves from their many rivals and plotting how to win the critical four early voting states. That leaves them barely enough time to think about what would come next.


Next would be California, an electoral buzz saw that costs tens of millions of dollars to compete in and is the polar opposite of the early states that reward hustle, on-the-ground attention and local staff. Campaigns in California, which has about four times as many Democratic voters as Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada combined, are won and lost through hugely expensive advertising and free media that reach the state’s diverse, far-flung population.



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