Who Won The California 2016 Democratic Primary? Bernie Sanders Surging As He Aims For Final Win, Hillary Clinton Aims To Officially Clinch

Who Won The California 2016 Democratic Primary? Bernie Sanders Surging As He Aims For Final Win, Hillary Clinton Aims To Officially Clinch

Who won the 2016 California Democratic primary?

As results come in from the Golden State, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders look to score an important win in the final large race and the nation’s largest state.

For Bernie Sanders, the California primary has been the major focus of the past several weeks. He has spent considerable time and resources in the Golden State, including a major ad buy two weeks ago and a number of filled-to-capacity rallies across the state. The Sanders campaign has argued that he is the stronger candidate to take on Donald Trump in November, as they have pointed to a series of polls where he holds a much wider lead than Clinton, and winning in California would be a key part of that.

Sanders has also been surging in California, with a series of recent polls showing him in a virtual tie with Clinton among California voters.

But his plan may have hit a hitch on Monday. After the results of this weekend’s contests — a pair of blowout wins for Hillary Clinton, first in the U.S. Virgin Islands and then in Puerto Rico — she moved to the edge of reaching the threshold to become the presumptive nominee. The Associated Press filled in the blanks, with reporters on Monday calling a number of remaining unpledged superdelegates to find that Clinton had enough support to reach a majority of pledged plus superdelegates.

Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders released statements contesting the news, as the Democratic National Committee had asked the media not to include superdelegates in final counts as they have not yet voted. There was also fear that the announcement might suppress voter turnout.

“It is unfortunate that the media, in a rush to judgment, are ignoring the Democratic National Committee’s clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of superdelegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer,” Sanders said in a statement released Monday.

“Secretary Clinton does not have and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination. She will be dependent on superdelegates who do not vote until July 25 and who can change their minds between now and then. They include more than 400 superdelegates who endorsed Secretary Clinton 10 months before the first caucuses and primaries and long before any other candidate was in the race.”

Those who want to follow live results from the California primary can find streaming video below.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

The question of who won the 2016 California primary may not take long to answer after the polls close at 8 p.m. Pacific Time (11 p.m. ET). Mail-in voting has taken over as the major avenue for voters in California to cast their ballots, and the nonpartisan Field Poll estimated that 5 million Californians would be mailing in their votes.

Early and mail-in voting has favored Hillary Clinton throughout the campaign, as her team has made extra efforts to reach out to those older voters who are more likely to avoid the lines of polling day, so early results are likely to show Clinton with a wider margin than she may finish with.

By the time 8 p.m. comes in California, the question of who won the California primary could still be moot, however. Hillary Clinton has held a wide lead in polling from New Jersey, and a big win there would push her over the threshold regardless of the superdelegates confirmed by the Associated Press. If results from the Garden State come in quickly enough, Clinton’s win could be clinched hours before polls close in California.

But finding out who won the 2016 California Democratic presidential primary is not the only interest for Golden State voters. There are a number of important local and down-ballot races as well, and live updates from all of California’s voting can be found here.

[Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images]