It’s not too late to apply to be a Republican or Democratic national convention delegate and represent California in Philadelphia or Cleveland this July.
Just know that your application may have some heavy competition.
"It’s probably easier to get into the University of California at Berkeley than it is to become a delegate to the Democratic National Convention," said Michael Soller, California Democratic Party communications director.
So far, party officials have received 4,600 applications for just 317 "district-level" delegate spots, another 30 people will be alternates. Such delegates are voted on during May 1 caucuses held around the state and then allocated for the candidates based on how the June 7 primary election votes break down in each district.
In addition, California has at-large delegates and party leaders and elected officials delegates, plus 70 unpledged "superdelegates" who vote independently. Many are elected officials. All told, California has a total of 546 delegates and 40 alternates.
Soller said the number of applications received by the party set a record — more than five times the 847 applicants submitted in 2012 for the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
So far, supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are leading Hillary Clinton's backers. He’s received about 150 more delegate applications.
On the Republican side, about 1,000 people have applied through the state party. The applications are split evenly among the candidates, including Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich.
Aspiring California Republican delegates can also apply directly through the candidates' campaigns, said Cynthia Bryant, executive director of the California Republican Party. She did not have the numbers for those applications.
“There’s been so much interest in the last couple weeks. I think as more and more articles have appeared in the national press saying that California is in play, the Californians themselves are much more interested in becoming delegates,” Bryant said.
It is ultimately up to each candidate's campaign to review the applications and select the Republican delegates to represent them. California Republicans will send 172 delegates and 169 alternatives to the convention.
If you want to apply, April is the month to do it. The parties have various deadlines in the coming weeks:
- The California Republican Party has pushed back its March 31 deadline. The next hard deadline is May 8, but the California Republican Party encourages those interested to apply as soon as possible. Bryant expects the candidates will notify delegates if they've been selected in early May.
- The California Democratic Party has an April 13 deadline for district-level delegates to apply. District-level delegates are voted on during caucuses around the state May 1. At-large, party leaders and elected officials delegates have a June 9 deadline. These will be confirmed at the party's June 19 Statewide Delegation Meeting in Long Beach. All applications can be found online.