News for the East Bay's diverse, working-class majority.

Brought to you by the Democratic Socialists of America, East Bay chapter.

East Bay DSA

March 08, 2020

Bernie won California

By Craig Johnson

March 3 was “Super Tuesday,” a staple of the Presidential primary election cycle since the mid-1980s in which a dozen or so states hold primaries on the same day. Historically Super Tuesday has been associated with southern states, and yesterday was no exception — half of the states that voted were in the south. 

What’s new this year is that the southern states were joined by many in the east and west, including California. That, and that for the first time in the state’s history a democratic socialist won the California presidential primary.

As of the afternoon of March 7, Bernie Sanders leads in California by about 7%, having won over 33% of the popular vote. Joe Biden follows with 25%, with Michael Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren in third and fourth place respectively. Sanders also did best among new primary voters, who made up 10% of those who voted in the primary and overwhelmingly preferred Sanders to the other Democratic candidates. As expected Sanders had his strongest performance in larger urban areas, winning San Francisco, Alameda, San Jose, and Los Angeles counties by over 10%. This result shows that the organizing done by our comrades in the LA, San Francisco, San Diego, and Silicon Valley chapters of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) joined East Bay DSA in doing the work of getting out the message of Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and a vision for a better future. 

Because of California’s intricate voting procedures, we won’t know the full extent of Sanders’ victory for days or weeks — this is due both to the state’s size and the high number of mail-in votes. There’s evidence that many voters held off mailing in their ballots until close to Election Day, meaning that some of those votes have yet to be counted in the totals reported by the news. We should emphasize that while some data has yet to come in, the result is clear: Democratic voters in California nominated a democratic socialist for president. The victory in California means Bernie has a real shot at the nomination, despite Biden’s triumph in many other Super Tuesday primaries.

Sanders’ win in California yesterday was the result of years of planning, months of organizing, and long days of phonebanking, door knocking, and community outreach on the part of progressives and socialists. DSA played a major role in this effort, as openly acknowledged by Sanders campaign staffers here in the East Bay’s Alameda County. Democratic socialists don’t engage in elections just to get the right person elected.  We campaign for candidates like Bernie Sanders in order to agitate against the billionaire class and to help build an organized working-class movement that can change the country after the election is over. The project of building that movement will continue for weeks, months, and years to come. But we can be pleased with last Tuesday’s result in California. Let’s celebrate — and then keep organizing.