Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will mark the close of their California primary campaigns on Monday with concerts, in a star-filled show-of-support as Clinton looks to clinch the Democratic nomination and Sanders insists that his bid isn’t over.
Clinton is attending a fundraiser at the Greek Theatre with Christina Aguilera, Stevie Wonder, Ricky Martin and Andra Day, with tickets starting at $250 per person. Former President Bill Clinton is also expected to appear at the event, as she wraps up five days of campaigning in California.
Sanders, meanwhile, is holding a concert at the Presidio in San Francisco, with Dave Matthews, Fantastic Negrito, Fishbone and John Dexter Stewart on the bill, along with speakers Cornel West, Shailene Woodley and Danny Glover.
Polls show Clinton with just a slight edge over Sanders in California, according to a RealClearPolitics average. On a press call Monday, analysts with the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Poll said that a higher-than-expected turnout, particularly among young and independent voters, will favor Sanders. Their most recent polls show Clinton with a lead of 49% to 39% among likely voters, and Sanders with a slight edge among eligible voters.
Clinton is returning to New York after the concert, as she is just a few dozen delegates away from the 2,383 mark to claim that nomination. That is likely to happen before polls close in California. She is heavily favored in New Jersey, which also holds its primary on Tuesday, meaning that networks could call the race, and her passing of the delegate threshold, as early as 5 p.m. PT. Other states voting on Tuesday include Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Clinton held a press availability with reporters, and addressed what it will be like being the first woman to clinch the nomination of a major party.
“It is really emotional, and I am someone who has been very touched, really encouraged by this extraordinary conviction that people have,” she told reporters in Lynwood, where she was holding a rally.
“I do think it will make a very big difference for a father or a mother to be able to look at their daughter, just like he can look at their son, and say you can be anything that you want to be in this country,” she said.
She also said that her campaign would “wait and find out” to see if Sanders concedes. She noted that eight years ago on Tuesday, she dropped out of the race and endorsed then Sen. Barack Obama. “I believe it was the right thing to do. No matter what differences we had in our long campaign, they pale in comparison to the differences we had with Republicans, and that is actually even more true today.”
Sanders has vowed to take the race all the way to the Democratic National Convention in July, and has spent the last couple of weeks in California, which has 546 delegates, the largest number of any state. His campaign is hoping that a win will bolster their case for staying in the race.
At a press conference on Saturday in downtown Los Angeles, Sanders asked networks not to call the nomination for Clinton early evening on Tuesday, before California’s polls close. A chunk of Clinton’s support comes from unpledged “super delegates,” party leaders who are free to switch their support. Clinton has a wide lead among those delegates, but she also leads among pledged delegates, too.
“Now I have heard reports that Secretary Clinton has said it’s all going to be over Tuesday night. I have reports that the media, after the New Jersey results come in, are going to declare that it is all over. That simply is not accurate,” Sanders told reporters.
Sanders is holding an election night event at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica.
Clinton and Sanders have drawn heavily on celebrity surrogates while campaigning in the Golden State. Susan Sarandon, Woodley, Josh Fox, Max Carver and Dick Van Dyke spoke at a rally for Sanders at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday — Van Dyke even sang and danced in introducing the candidate.
“My deep feeling is Bernie’s voice is silenced, and those like him are silenced, are grand kids are going to live in an oligarchy,” Van Dyke said. “I’m afraid it is going to happen.”
Woodley and a group of other Hollywood figures, like Rosario Dawson and Kendrick Sampson, even trekked across the state in an RV.
Clinton also has been enlisting celebrity supporters, including Sally Field, Elizabeth Banks and Debra Messing, who appeared with her at a rally on Friday at West Los Angeles College. They focused mainly on Clinton’s experience, and their criticism of Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee. On Monday, she campaigned with “Scandal ” star Tony Goldwyn.