Politics

Clinton ramps up SoCal appearances as state primary nears

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers training center, Tuesday, May 24, 2016, in Commerce, California.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers training center, Tuesday, May 24, 2016, in Commerce, California.
John Locher/AP

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With the gap between Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders narrowing in California, Clinton hit the campaign trial Tuesday with stops in South Los Angeles, Commerce and Riverside. 

At a local labor union meeting hall in Commerce, the Democrats' front-runner shored up her base, calling for equal pay for women and blasting Republican Donald Trump’s economic policies.

“California, I need your help and your vote. Please, come out and vote on June 7th,” she said.

In South Los Angeles, the setting was more intimate. Clinton met with just 30 organizers and volunteers with the social and economic advocacy group Community Coalition about improving foster care and kinship care.

“I went into today undecided,” said 23-year-old Tyler James, who was among those who sat with the former secretary of state.

“Having met her up close and personal, and gotten to know her and her story a little bit, it touched me,” said James. She was converted, she said.

With California's presidential primary just two weeks away, Clinton, Sanders and Trump are all campaigning in the state this week. 

Clinton's lead over Sanders in California has narrowed since early 2015 when a Field Poll showed her support at 59 percent to Sanders' 6 percent among likely Democratic voters. In a poll taken in late March and early April, Field reported Clinton stood at 47 percent and Sanders 41 percent.

While Clinton's delegate count puts her far ahead of Sanders, a primary win in California would give him political fuel heading into the July Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where he could influence the party platform on issues on which he's been campaigning.

Clinton is scheduled to campaign in Buena Park and Salinas on Wednesday and San Jose on Thursday. Sanders will hold a rally in Cathedral City Wednesday and visit Ventura on Thursday.

Trump is set to appear Wednesday in Anaheim. His last event in Costa Mesa turned violent with protesters clashing with police.