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Will the Sanders Campaign Survive the California Primary?

© AP Photo / Patrick SemanskyDemocratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders arrives for his caucus night rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on February 2, 2016.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders arrives for his caucus night rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on February 2, 2016. - Sputnik International
With six primaries happening Tuesday, including a very important one in California, what happens if Senator Bernie Sanders wins the golden state, despite the fact Hillary Clinton has already clinched enough delegates to become the presumptive nominee.

Clinton’s chief party rival, Bernie Sanders, has pledged to continue his campaign until the Democratic convention. Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear speaks with author and political cartoonist Ted Rall about what lies ahead for the Sanders campaign. 

Loud and Clear host Brian Becker asked Rall about the prospects for a Sanders victory in the California primary and how that would affect his campaign leading up to the convention in July.

​"It wouldn’t shock me," Rall said, explaining that, "California doesn’t have as many restrictive rules in terms of voter registration, which is what hurt Bernie in New York, so I think he could pull out a victory in California." Rall added that a Sanders victory in the state would be "extremely disquieting" for the Clinton campaign because, "at this point she’s looking to seal the deal, and to lose the largest state in the country, a state that Democrats have to win in the Fall, would have to be devastating for her."

Becker pointed out that the Vermont Senator has been fighting a lack of media coverage and a news apparatus that seeks to usher in a Clinton nomination before the voting is complete. The host suggested, "Bernie Sanders is not just running against Hillary Clinton, the choice of the Democratic Party establishment, but the mainstream media." Becker opines that the powerful corporate-owned media in the US created an "aura of inevitability" around a Clinton victory. 

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Rall responded that although the media has been cold to Sanders, issues within the Clinton camp relating to the recent email scandal could possibly take the former Secretary of State out the race.

"If you’re Bernie Sanders you’ve got to be wondering what the FBI is going to do in terms of a possible indictment," he reasoned. "You’d hate to drop out only to have to come back 2 or 3 weeks later because she’s no longer a viable candidate. He really thinks he can win this thing."

Rall added that the implications of the Sanders campaign go beyond whether he one day occupies the Oval Office. "In a broader sense, even if he doesn’t win, he’s doing this in order to create a space for leftist politics within electoral politics in the U.S. which has not existed arguably since [George] McGovern in 1972."

Becker asked Rall if he was hopeful for a progressive, or leftward, shift within the Democrat Party, and about the potential for Sanders to instruct his supporters to vote for Clinton if he doesn’t secure the nomination. 

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"I think the Democratic party is allergic to true progressive, leftist politics within its ranks," he replied. He added that the fear-mongering that Clinton’s campaign has broadcast around a possible Trump presidency is a party tactic that has worn thin. 

"The argument that ‘we fought the good fight, we did better than we thought and now we have to beat this existential threat,’ is a good argument, except for one thing: It’s the same old argument that they’ve trotted out every time anyone who had a whiff of leftism started an insurgent campaign.They did it to John Edwards in 2008, they did it to Howard Dean in 2004, and they did it to Ted Kennedy in 1980. So the problem is, this keeps happening. We’re like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football and Lucy always pulls it away."

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