On June 7, 2016, voters in California will weigh in on the presidential race during the state’s Republican and Democratic primaries. California’s presidential primary has historically attracted little attention because it takes place so late in the primary season. This year, however, as the races for both the Democratic and Republican nominations remain contested, the weight of California’s primary has come in focus. A March 25, 2016, USC Dornsife/LA Times poll found that Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton leads against Bernie Sanders with eligible CA Democratic and Independent voters by 8 points. The same poll found that, among registered GOP voters in the state, Donald Trump leads the Republican race by 7 points above Ted Cruz.
In addition to the large number of delegates at stake, the manner in which each party determines how those delegates are allocated makes the California primaries especially important. The Republican candidates receive 3 delegates per congressional district they win, and the statewide winner of the primary receives an additional 13 delegates. In sum, 172 delegates are up for the taking in June, making California a prize for the Republican candidates. The Democratic primary is an even larger yield, with a total of 475 delegates: 317 awarded proportionally by congressional district and 158 delegates awarded to the statewide winner. An additional to 73 superdelegates from California attend the national convention.