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LIVE UPDATES: See the full results of the California Democratic primary, a massively critical event in the race for the nomination

Foto: Samantha Lee/Business Insider

  • Election night totals showed a lead for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the California primary, but the race is too early to call.
  • We’ll have up-to-the-minute live vote counts and results happening in real-time updating automatically.
  • California’s permissive vote-by-mail statute means that final totals for the state could take days or even weeks to come in.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Election night totals in the California Democratic presidential primary showed a lead for Sen. Bernie Sanders, but the race is too early to call. With over 10% of the total number of delegates to the July convention at stake, the California contest is easily the biggest prize on Super Tuesday.

California Democratic primary results:

Catch up on live coverage from the primary:

While the polls closed at 8 p.m. local time on Tuesday, we may not have final results for several days or even weeks due to some of California’s unique election procedures.

California heavily relies on vote-by-mail to make participating in elections more accessible. As NPR noted, 60% of California voted by mail in the 2018 midterms, a far larger proportion than in most states.

But mailed-in ballots are accepted until up to three days after the day of an election as long as they are postmarked by election day. In 2018, it took days in some cases for officials to fully process all absentee and mail-in ballots.

While the state also allows same-day voter registration, people who register on the day of the election cast provisional ballots which are not fully counted and processed until election officials can verify the details of their voter registration.

All those features are intended to improve voter turnout by making voting easier and more accessible, but they also mean final totals are days or weeks away.


Here’s how Democrats will elect their presidential nominee over the next several months

What’s at stake in the primary?

California is the biggest delegate prize of both Super Tuesday and the entire Democratic primary process, allocating a total of 415 pledged delegates, which is over 10% of the total number of delegates.

About one-third of California’s pledged delegates are allocated at the state level, with the other two-thirds allocated by California’s 53 congressional districts.

Like in most other states, candidates must earn over the minimum threshold of 15% of the vote in a given district or statewide to earn any delegates.

CA congressional district map

Foto: Source: Ruobing Su/Business Insider

Who did the polling say is ahead?

According to FiveThirtyEight’s‘ average of the latest polling data, Sen. Bernie Sanders led the pre-primary polls in California by a wide margin with an average of 34% support compared to 18% for former VP Joe Biden, 15% for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 13% for former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and 4.6% for Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

According to FiveThirtyEight’s primary election forecast, Sanders was projected to win an average of 186 delegates compared to 125 for Biden, and held an 11 in 12 chance of winning the most delegates. Warren and Bloomberg were projected to win an average of 61 and 42 pledged delegates, respectively.

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