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How California’s new earlier primary is drawing in 2020 Democrats

Over the weekend, California played host to 14 Democrats running for president in 2020. With its primary three months earlier than normal, the state is poised to play a bigger role in shaping the nominating process for the Democratic Party. Many candidates were warmly received at California’s Democratic convention, but some pushed back on the party’s most progressive ideas. Amna Nawaz reports.

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  • Amna Nawaz:

    It was another busy weekend for the crowd of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, with many of them flocking to a new and unexpected battleground state.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.:

    There is no middle ground.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Fourteen Democratic presidential candidates descended on California this weekend, rallying some of the state's most progressive voters at its Democratic Convention with promises of sweeping change.

  • Pete Buttigieg:

    The riskiest thing we could do is try too hard to play it safe.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    With a primary vote slated three months earlier than past presidential races, California is poised to play its biggest role yet in shaping the 2020 race.

  • Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.:

    What's up, California Democrats?

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Home state Senator Kamala Harris enjoyed a warm reception, but not everyone did.

  • Rep. John Delaney, D-Md.:

    Medicare for all may sound good, but it's actually not good policy nor is it good politics.


  • Rep. John Delaney, D-Md.:

    I'm telling you.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    That's former Maryland Congressman John Delaney.

  • John Hickenlooper:

    If we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big progressive goals, socialism is not the answer.


  • Amna Nawaz:

    And former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, both moderates who pushed back against ideas from their more progressive fellow candidates, like Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.:

    The time for small ideas is over.


  • Amna Nawaz:

    Warren and other left-of-center candidates warned against Joe Biden's more moderate policies, though none actually named the former vice president, who currently holds a double-digit lead over his Democratic rivals.

    Meanwhile, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker stood out while addressing gun violence after the Virginia Beach shooting.

  • Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.:

    It is time for us as a nation not to normalize the violence and the culture of gun violence.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    But Biden was noticeably absent from the Saturday California event, opting instead to headline an LGBTQ advocacy group dinner in the swing state of Ohio.

  • Joe Biden:

    We are seeing pushback against all the progress we have made toward equality.

  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.:

    We want women to have a seat at the table.

  • Chris Wallace:

    What about men?

  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.:

    They're already there. Do you not know?


  • Amna Nawaz:

    New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, meanwhile, sparred with Chris Wallace in a FOX News town hall over women's rights and the network's abortion debate coverage.

  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.:

    What happens on FOX News is relevant because they talked about infanticide for 6.5 hours, 6.5 hours, right before President Trump's State of the Union.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    On the Republican side, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan shot down a much-speculated 2020 run, saying he wouldn't challenge President Trump for the GOP nomination.

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