The California Democratic primary has come and gone, but the mail-in ballots are still being counted. Hillary Clinton was announced the winner over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, but with each new vote tally, her lead diminishes. As of July 2, Clinton’s lead in California has shrunk from 12 percent to just 7.6 percent. In a previous story in The Inquisitr, Bernie had already flipped three counties by June 12.
On Saturday, El Dorado County reportedly flipped for Bernie. On June 7, Hillary Clinton received 10,367 votes, while Sanders received 9,497 votes. As of July 1, though, the vote tally for Sanders has grown to 12,620, while Clinton’s tally 12,492. Since California’s primary election, Sanders has continued to gain on Clinton, little by little, and so far, fourteen counties reporting 53,643 ballots have gone for Sanders at more than 61 percent.
The incremental gains seem small at first glance, but small numbers add up to bigger numbers, and although Sanders may still not win California, he is putting a serious dent in Clinton’s lead and asserting himself as a more viable, stronger candidate than the Democratic Party establishment cares to admit.
Sanders has actually gained one more delegate and is quite close to gaining several more. The current delegate allocation is 219 for Sanders versus 256 for Clinton. He could gain another At-Large, one PLEO (Party Leader Elected Official) and one more in Congressional District 28 if the numbers continue to go his way.
After many long years — and decades — of not having their votes matter one way or another, Californians are now in the spotlight as a group of voters who have been more important than perhaps any other group in the 2016 Democratic primary season. And many of them are Sanders supporters, and they aren’t willing to give up their candidate without a fight.
Part of the reason for this is due to the incredible number of new voter registrations that flooded the state registrar system prior to the primary. Many of those newly-registered voters never received their mail-in ballots and were forced to accept provisional ballots. Those are still being counted.
According to the New York Times, California No Party Preference voters (NPP) experienced difficulties getting the correct ballots, further muddying the waters on election day. Provisional ballots take longer to count because each ballot must be verified against the information given. As of July 2, a total of 287,782 provisional and mail-in ballots have yet to be counted. If the current trend toward Bernie Sanders continues, it could ultimately mean a much tighter race than original reported.
On June 30, actress Rosario Dawson helped lead a pro-Bernie rally in Los Angeles, California, entitled “Talk Bernie to Me” to show that voters still “feel the Bern.” Although Clinton has support in the more affluent, conservative areas of the state, as well as some major celebrity support, Bernie Sanders has earned the loyalty of throngs of voters who say they are done voting for the lesser of two evils.
Enough Sanders supporters have proclaimed their “Bernie or Bust” stance that it could cause serious repercussions in the general election. Despite Sanders’ confidence that if Clinton says all the right things his supporters will vote for her, enough folks have pledged to never vote for her to concern the Democratic Party elite.
On a recent Thom Hartmann show, Congressional candidate Tim Canova — who is challenging Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz — explained how progressives could take back the country from big business and special interests. Canova explained that the progressive movement is happening “both inside and outside the Democratic Party.”
He spoke of the challenge the party has in bringing those outside progressives into the party instead of shunning them as so many Hillary Clinton surrogates and supporters seem to have done throughout the campaign. He sees the progressive movement as something more than just an outside force. Canova told Hartmann that he believes the movement could change the party from the inside out.
“I see progressives running for office all over the country … the progressive movement is on the rise in the party. It is the future of the party.”
The prolonged time it’s taking for election officials to count the California ballots has done little to dampen the fires of Bernie Sanders’ political revolution. Already several progressive candidates have won their own Democratic primaries. Tim Canova’s popularity among Floridians hungry for change could make him another primary winner in August. While Sanders may not defeat Clinton in California, her every-shrinking lead, coupled with her increasingly troublesome email server investigation, should give superdelegates enough of a reason to throw their support behind Bernie Sanders at the national convention.
[Photo by John Locher/AP Images]