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Politics

An earlier presidential primary would hand California Democrats more political power




Voters enter a polling place inside Barrio Action Youth & Family Center in El Sereno on Tuesday afternoon, June 7, 2016 during the California primary election.
Voters enter a polling place inside Barrio Action Youth & Family Center in El Sereno on Tuesday afternoon, June 7, 2016 during the California primary election.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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California Governor Jerry Brown will decide the fate of several important bills ahead of the Oct. 15 deadline. Among them: legislation that would allow California to cut in line during the next presidential primary. 

The state's June primary has often come too late to have much influence over the direction of the race. The bill before Governor Brown would move our voting date up three months to March. However, the move isn't without its critics: The legislation passed both houses on a party-line vote. 

"I think they have two concerns," says Louis DeSipio, professor of political science at UC Irvine. "California leans Democratic, and Republicans in the state probably don't want Democrats to have a disproportionate voice in selecting one of the party nominees." 

He adds that Republicans might have a more practical concern:

"This bill would also move the primary date forward for other statewide races so it would extend the election season by several months," DeSipio says. "That means officeholders and candidates would be spending more of their time campaigning and less of their time governing."

Press the blue play button above to hear about how California's previous attempts to move up the primary fared