With the June 7 California primary less than a month away, four California House Democrats have abstained from endorsing a presidential candidate, while the other 35 have backed presumptive frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Representatives Barbara Lee, Alan Lowenthal and Norma Torres have stated that they are not yet ready to support Clinton or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) publicly. Sanders has won several states in recent weeks, but is still lagging the former secretary of state in both pledged delegates and superdelegates.
Although Pelosi said she has avoided endorsing a candidate in order to prevent discouraging voter turnout, the Los Angeles Times points out that she remarked at a news conference this week that she wants the next president to have “the strongest possible Democratic Congress,” and added: “whoever she may be.”
Torres told the Times that she was not yet supporting Clinton because she wants to know more about her plans on immigration and Native American issues. She is also reluctant to back Sanders, suggesting “he’s talking the same negative talk that Trump is using against Hillary.”
Lee, who did not join the Congressional Black Caucus in endorsing Clinton, may choose Sanders. Breitbart News predicted last month that Clinton and Sanders would split the eight delegates in her congressional district:
This district, which includes Berkeley, rivals San Francisco as an iconic left-wing stronghold, with Black Lives Matter protests running rampant. Represented by Barbara Lee — one of the most left-wing members of Congress — the district also has a large minority population. There are even fewer Republican voters in the 13th than across the Bay in the 12th. For the first time in history, the Berkeley College Republicans could have a direct impact.
Sanders has lately been gaining traction among minority voters, and could out-perform that early projection, with or without Lee’s support.
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