California maneuvers to make bigger impact in 2020 election

Nicholas Riccardi for AP reports, Early voting in California’s primary will overlap with the traditional early nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

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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.

Strategists estimate it could cost at least $5 million for a candidate to compete in California, an amount that could be prohibitive for all but the best-funded contenders. Nascent campaigns are asking themselves if they should gamble on California.

“Everyone’s going to play in Iowa, everyone’s going to go to New Hampshire,” said Ben Tulchin, a San Francisco-based pollster who worked for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential bid. “But there are only 3-4 of the top-tier candidates who will compete in California.”

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.

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