As I sit here in my office in Los Angeles, looking at the “Woman Card” on my desk and pondering whether I will watch “Ellen” when Hillary Clinton joins the all-female cast of “Ghostbusters” (yes, folks, I am a Hillary Clinton supporter), I must admit that I and other Hillary supporters wonder if she will be “feeling the Bern” after the California primary on June 7.
Now, many of you might not be surprised by my support of Hillary, being that I am a liberal female, a Democrat, and because I live just miles from that big white “Hollywood” sign that many feel is the mecca for any Democrat, especially one running for president.
But Californians, especially in Hollywood, are well aware that there are two Democrats coming to town. And, much as in 2008, when Hillary was running against Barack Obama; this is a party that is very divided. With Bernie Sanders’ recent wins and his desire to stay the course in this campaign, there are those in Hollywoodland who secretly fear the senator from Vermont will score an upset victory in the Golden State.
On paper and numerically – and let’s face it, folks, this is a numbers game – Hillary not only wins California, but she wins easily. As I write this, Real Clear Politics shows her ahead of Sanders by 9.7 percent, and most polls suggest she’ll beat Bernie by a large margin. But the polls have been wrong before. Just look at Michigan and Indiana.
California is the most diverse state in the U.S. It has the highest number of Latinos, most of whom will vote for Hillary. But California also has a large youth population, and most who are voting for the first time have registered as independents. Sanders does far better than Hillary with young and independent voters. And, of course, California is an open primary, another area where Sanders has done better.
The biggest concern from the Hollywood crowd is not that Sanders will win California – that will be hard to do – but that he will be able to gain a decent percentage of the 546 delegates up for grabs in the state. California is Sanders’ last chance, and he, his campaign and his supporters know that.
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We’ve all heard Sanders say he’s in the race “till the last ballot is cast,” but we are also seeing increased animosity among his supporters and Bernie’s decision to go after Hillary harder to stay in the game. This is evident not only by the recent attitude of Sanders supporters toward Hillary supporters and high ranking Democrats like Sen. Barbara Boxer, as we saw in Nevada, but even in the New York Times, which had an article about Bernie’s willingness to harm Hillary in order to get to his goal.
Who would ever have thought California would be a battleground state in a Democratic primary? California has always been a deep shade of blue, and celebrities have always rallied around the Democratic candidates, especially the ones who run for president. Bernie and Hillary have flooded the state with fundraisers and rallies; both have opened offices here; and both have support from the Hollywood crowd: Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito and others for Bernie; George Clooney, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and more for Hillary.
Hillary has more of the Hollywood elite supporting her and writing big checks for her campaign, but it’s the momentum of Sanders’ supporters that causes some of us here in lalaland to wince.
The biggest concern whispered behind closed doors is not that Sanders will win California or that he will do better than expected; it’s the revolt Democrats fear could upend the convention in Philadelphia at the end of July.
So hooray for Hollywood, and hooray for Hillary. Many in the land where stars are made will keep their fingers crossed until the morning of June 8.