Politics

California GOP Voters: Here They Come. Are You Ready?

Like a dramatic Hollywood ending, the GOP nomination may come down to a photo finish at the last primary election of 2016.

Source: Shutterstock

With the results of "Western Tuesday" under their belts, the 2016 presidential candidates are headed to California in what could be a decisive, final primary election that could determine the GOP nominee - and thereby Donald Trump's fate - once and for all.

The race is on.

At stake are nearly 200 delegates in the June 7 primary election in California.

To put the state's magnitude in perspective, the Associated Press' Michael Blood reports that for the presidential candidates winning California is the equivalent of winning 57 state primaries in just one day.

Source: Shutterstock Source: Shutterstock

With its magnitude, the state also brings its zany qualities.

It is ironic now that buttoned-up establishment figures find themselves in a position of being forced to hedge their bets on a state that once placed "Diff'rent Strokes" star Gary Coleman and porn star Mary Carey on the ballot for governor.

Like a plot-twist straight out of Hollywood, this is where this wacky presidential contest has brought us.

California's primary election is a winner-take-all system, or a hybrid thereof, and it works like this to award its 172 delegates: Ten delegates will go to the top finisher statewide; three votes per Congressional district will be awarded to the winner of each district (there are 53 Congressional districts); and three individual, at-large votes which are cast by the state's Republican National Committeeman, National Committeewoman, and the California GOP chairman at the convention.

The stakes are high.

The stakes are even higher if you are Donald Trump.

In the race for 1,237 delegates, Trump currently has nearly 800 delegates and is projected to win more delegates in states even before California's June 7 primary.

Therefore, a win in California would place Trump at or near the number he needs to become the nominee and more importantly to some, for the GOP to avoid a contested convention.

Conversely those nearly 200 delegates, if lost, would be devastating to someone like Ted Cruz who, along with SuperPACs are trying to stop or at least slow down the undeniable momentum of Trump.

With 38 percent of California voters currently supporting Trump according to a leading poll (compared to just 19 percent for Cruz and 12 percent for Ohio Gov. John Kasich), Cruz and others are going to have to fight hard to win California voters.

And fight they are.

A dozen GOP Primary voters in California have reported to me that "robocalls" have begun to hit their phone lines with polling questions leaning heavily toward Cruz and even "push poll" type of questions against Trump's fitness for office.

The revelation is important because this is the first time in a generation that Republican voters in California can recall being polled about a presidential contest. Not since 1984 have voters in California delivered a Republican to be president. Clearly their vote matters in a GOP contest that may come down to California.

There are some other factors at play as well.

Cruz is staffing up in the golden state. His California chairman and new national spokesman Ron Nehring certainly knows his way around the state, although his efficacy is questionable having presided over the California Republican Party during one of its worst seasons. In addition, he has come under fire in recent weeks over his hiring of illegal immigrants at the Republican party.

Cruz is getting valuable help, however, from the Kasich camp which is reportedly joining forces with Cruz to sift votes from Trump, with Kasich taking blue-leaning votes and Cruz taking the more conservative votes according to the Cook Political Report.

Kasich, who may be able to help siphon votes away from Trump, has recently won the endorsement of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The two became friends through The Arnold Classic, a bodybuilding contest named after Schwarzenegger that is held every year in Kasich's Ohio. It is likely the two will campaign together in the final days and weeks leading up to the primary.

It remains to be seen whether all of this will be enough for Cruz, Kasich and their SuperPACs to snatch enough votes from Trump to keep him from becoming the nominee.

In the land that created TV production, as it stands now it appears that reality TV star Trump just might be able to pull it off and get his Hollywood ending.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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