Bernie Sanders holds his victory rally in San Diego, California, Tuesday, an event that will stream live — below on this page — from the convention center there after primary elections and caucuses wrap up in Arizona, Idaho, and Utah, with what Sanders hopes will be inspiring victories in those states. But Sanders holds his rally not in any one if those states, as is often traditional, but in Arizona’s neighbor to the west, a state with more delegates than Florida and New York combined.
California does not go to the polls until June 7, 11 weeks from this Tuesday, but Sanders will need as many of the state’s 546 delegates as he can grab to have any hope of overtaking Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Sanders supporters gather outside city hall before marching to the convention center pic.twitter.com/3JuDZY6wZM
— stevewalsh (@stevewalsh) March 22, 2016
But Sanders supporters in California remain hopeful that their votes will prove decisive in giving Sanders that edge, and help him complete what would certainly be the most extraordinary comeback in the history of the United States primary election system.
Watch the following local news report to get a sense of the excitement building for the Bernie Sanders stop in San Diego, about 12 hours before the actual event itself.
“I live about an hour from here to be here,” said Bernie Sanders supporter Catherine O’Callahan, who lined up outside San Diego City Hall early Tuesday morning. “This is something really big. You know, the message. It’s a political revolution.”
The Sanders supporters planned to stage a march from city hall starting at about 10:30 a.m., ending up at the city’s massive Convention Center, where Sanders is expected to take the podium sometime around 8 p.m. Pacific Time, taking over exhibition halls D and E, two of the center’s largest facilities.
A live stream of the Bernie Sanders rally can be viewed in the video below. The stream should go online at about 5 p.m. Pacific, 8 p.m. Eastern Time, though Sanders himself is not expected to speak until about three hours later.
But will the address delivered by Bernie Sanders in San Diego indeed become a victory speech, after three states go to the polls? Polling in all three states has been extremely light, giving Tuesday’s voting a much more genuine element of suspense than most previous primary and caucus days. But based on what little polling has been done, as well as on demographic factors, Tuesday looks like it could be a good day for Bernie Sanders.
In Arizona, only one poll has been taken over the past month, and that one, released on March 11, showed Hillary Clinton topping Bernie Sanders in the heavily Latino state by 26 percentage points.
But the good news for Sanders and his supporters is that since the previous poll, from February 24, Clinton’s support had dropped from 56 percent to an even 50, while Sanders showed a slight upward trend, from 22 to 24 percent.
The Bernie Sanders campaign has poured resources into Arizona, sending the candidate himself at least four times in the last week alone. With no polling in the last 11 days, Sanders could be poised to pull off a major upset — or at least close that gap on Clinton which would enable him to claim the all-important “momentum.”
Utah and Idaho look considerably rosier for Sanders, however. In a Utah poll released Monday, just one day before the caucuses there, Sanders was well in front of Clinton, 52 to 44. Polling in Idaho is not as current, but showed Sanders with a narrow lead.
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Except for Iowa, in which Sanders and Clinton ended in a virtual tie, Sanders has won every state so far in which the population is under 8 percent African American. In Utah and Idaho, where white, non-Latino voters make up more than 90 percent of the population, the demographics appear to skew heavily toward Sanders.
Bernie Sanders takes no break from the campaign trail, holding a noontime rally in Casper, Wyoming, and another in Laramie later in the day on Wednesday. Wyoming, another state with a population more than 90 percent white and under 2 percent black, holds caucuses on April 7 and again looks like fertile ground for Bernie Sanders. [UPDATE: Due to heavy snows, Sanders has now canceled his two Wyoming appearances.]
[Featured Photo By George Frey / Getty Images]