Early primary election may not benefit California – Orange County Register

The Buzz is the Register’s weekly political news column.

The elections bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday moves California’s primary from June to March, an effort to give the state more influence in determining the presidential nominees — and make the candidates pay more attention to the state’s interests and priorities.

But reality doesn’t always conform to the script.

The state ran early presidential primaries from 1996 to 2008 with no conclusive impact on the eventual nominees.

On Feb. 5, 2008, California voters favored Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama only to watch Obama gain momentum before securing the nomination on June 3. In that case, a May primary in California could have been more influential. The early primary also raised the question of whether state voters might have preferred Obama by May or June.

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