According to political experts, the California Primary Election could become the most important determinant of whether or not Donald Trump can get a majority of delegates and prevent a brokered convention. That's the opinion of political pros like Fernando Guerra at Loyola Marymount University and Republican political consultant Mike Madrid.
Mario Guerra, the California Republican State Party Treasurer says, “It looks like California will have a say in the presidential nominee for the Republican Party which is really exciting for us.”
Guerra, former Mayor of Downey, says the June primary is real important. "We have 172 delegates. It's winner take all by Congressional District."
Here's what that means.
*There are 53 congressional districts. The prize for each one is 3 delegates. Making 159… the MOST any candidate could win. However, whoever wins the most votes statewide would pick up another 13. That comes to a total of 172.
*For the republicans the California primary is a closed primary… only Republicans can vote.
*California Democrats have an open primary. Anyone can vote in it.
As for the polls...
Right now… Donald Trump leads the most recent poll of likely California Republican voters with a commanding lead. The Landslide/NSON poll shows:
*Trump with 38%
*Ted Cruz with 22%
*John Kasich has almost 20%
The Kasich campaign says “We believe that Governor Katich is going to do very well in California. We are proud to have the endorsement of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Steve Poizner. The Governor’s record of cutting taxes and actually solving problems will appeal to voters in California.”
Meanwhile, Mario Guerra says, “Ted Cruz has been recruiting ground game for several months in California.” One of those recruited, real estate investor Dan Palmer, believes by the time we get to California Ted Cruz will have run enough delegates to catch up with Donald Trump. Palmer says the two men are separated by only a couple of hundred delegates. He believes Cruz will be able to get much closer by the time June 7th rolls around.
As for the polls, Palmer doesn't believe the one showing Trump with a lead is accurate. He thinks Cruz is actually doing better. And, as for Donald Trump… no response to our calls. But, Political Loyola Marymount Professor and political consultant Fernando Guerra says Trump’s draw here is an older, white, conservative voter. Republican Political Consultant Mike Madrid says, however, the billionaire keeps attracting various non-traditional constituencies because of “disdain from establishment candidates in both parties and the perception that both parties have rigged the system politically and economically.”
As for State Treasurer Mario Guerra… he says California is a tough state… it’s a state where political ads will play a role. Says Guerra, “California is such a large state. It’s not like Iowa that you can meet and touch everyone… a lot has to do with fundraising the media buys to be able to do that. Southern California, Northern California - San Francisco area… very expensive to buy media ads.”
“So, here in California, at least for the Republicans, the political wars that move here could become a deal maker or breaker for Donald Trump or Ted Cruz... depending on with whom you're talking with.