For the first time in a long time, California may actually have something to say about the presidential nominee of the Republican Party, but the message may be distorted because of the way the party allocates delegates.
It appears likely that Donald Trump will have a substantial lead but not enough delegates to wrap up the Republican nomination when California holds its primary June 7. Ted Cruz and John Kasich, his only remaining party challengers, are expected to run aggressive campaigns to make sure The Donald doesn’t secure the nomination here.
Only registered Republicans are allowed to vote in the party’s presidential primary, and candidates get three delegates for each of the state’s 53 congressional districts they win, regardless of how many Republicans actually live there. That gives some of the state’s most liberal districts an oversized influence in the outcome of the primary.
For example, the Bay Area districts represented by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (basically San Francisco) and Rep. Barbara Lee (Oakland, Berkeley) have about 57,000 registered Republicans between them, according to January 2016 registration figures released by the California Secretary of State’s office.
But each of those congressional districts is allocated three delegates to the Republican National Convention, the same number as Rep. Tom McClintock’s 4th District, which has the most registered Republicans in the state (175,000), and the lst District of Rep. Doug LaMalfa, with 153,000 Republicans.
I’m willing to bet that the Republicans in those Bay Area districts are, shall we say, more moderate that those represented by LaMalfa or McClintock. Image that: Bay Area values influencing the Republican presidential race.