Democrats Await Results In Tuesday's Primaries

Jun 7, 2016
Originally published on June 8, 2016 2:35 am
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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Meanwhile, today was supposed to be big for the Democrats, possibly a make-or-break moment. Six states are voting, including California. But the Associated Press declared Hillary Clinton the party's presumptive nominee last night. She got the support of several more superdelegates. Those are the Democratic Party leaders who are not bound by primaries when they vote at the convention. NPR's Sam Sanders has been traveling with Senator Bernie Sanders and joins us from Los Angeles. Hi, Sam.

SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: Hey, Ari, how are you?

SHAPIRO: Good. So did last night's news let the air out of the balloon for people who are watching today's race really closely?

SANDERS: Not really. I was at that Bernie rally last night in San Francisco, and I talked to a lot of folks there who said that those numbers don't mean a thing to them. They told me they think the system is already rigged and unfair, so that call didn't faze them. One supporter used the word - said it was not relevant to her at all. One Sanders surrogate, former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, said that the AP's call for Hillary was actually meant to suppress turnout today.

SHAPIRO: In California and five other states that are voting...

SANDERS: ...Yes.

SHAPIRO: Is really anything much at stake today if the race has already been called by the Associated Press for Clinton?

SANDERS: There are some things at stake. So Bernie wants to win this to stay in the race and to fight through California. To win here today means that he has a stronger case to make. And he wants to go into that convention, change the rules of the primary process, reduce the role of those superdelegates and try to get more open primaries. For Hillary Clinton, if she can win today, this will really close this whole thing up for her. She's poised to get the majority of delegates. But she wants to finish this today, to put a bow on it and just move forward.

SHAPIRO: What is Bernie Sanders saying about his next moves?

SANDERS: So he has said that he will go home to Vermont tomorrow, but then he'll keep campaigning in D.C. ahead of that city's primary on the 14th. That's the last Dem. primary. In a press conference yesterday, he got lots of questions about what comes next. And he really didn't give too much besides those details. He said lots of times that he can't speculate before those, like, results from California. But it's also important just to pause to note the success of his campaign. Regardless, lots of Americans voted for him, a self-declared socialist who had almost zero name rec (ph) just a year ago. He had huge rallies across the country for months. He raised tens of millions of dollars in small donations. So the question is now what that does for him next.

SHAPIRO: All right. Well, Sam Sanders, we will be following the results from California and the five other states that are holding primaries today. Thanks for joining us.

SANDERS: Thank you, Ari.

SHAPIRO: NPR's Sam Sanders there in California. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.