LOS ANGELES -- Hillary Clinton landed a coveted endorsement from California Gov. Jerry Brown Tuesday, patching up a strained relationship between the two Democrats as she seeks to deliver a final blow to Bernie Sanders' campaign.
Clinton heads into California and the other end-of-the-line primaries June 7 with the Democratic nomination virtually locked up — she needs just 71 delegates to reach the required threshold at the party's summer convention in Philadelphia. But Sanders is staging boisterous rallies across the state and running TV ads in hopes of delivering an upset that he says would strengthen his claim to the nomination, despite the numbers.
While Clinton's campaign has been looking to California as the triumphant conclusion to her primary run, her lead appears to have vanished in recent days. Polling last week showed a race that's nearly tied.
Clinton is still expected to lock up the nomination before the polls close in the Golden State, but a loss in California would amount to a deeply symbolic wound in a state she carried in the 2008 presidential primary against then-Sen. Barack Obama. It would also encourage Sanders to make good on his promise to remain in the race until the party convention in July, hampering Clinton's ability to unify her party and sending her limping into the general election.