Independents favor Sanders, but their turnout is hardly assured
California's independent voters are struggling to figure out how to cast ballots in next Tuesday's Democratic presidential primary, threatening Bernie Sanders' chances to carry the state and making the race even more difficult for pollsters to handicap.
Polls show Sanders with a big lead among independents, but they can't vote for him unless they request a Democratic ballot. And that's a step that as of last week 85 percent of independents who vote by mail had failed to take, according to Political Data Inc., a Los Angeles County firm that tracks voter activity.
The prospect of poor participation among independents was just one of several bits of bad news Sanders encountered Tuesday as he continued his uphill fight against Hillary Clinton, making campaign stops in Emeryville and Santa Cruz.
The day began with Gov. Jerry Brown stepping into the fray by endorsing Clinton, who he said "has a firm grasp of the issues and will be prepared to lead our country on day one." Brown also said that Clinton essentially had the nomination won and that "this is no time for Democrats to keep fighting each other."