>> Joe Biden and Beto O'Rourke among nearly two dozen Democrats who could run for the White House in 2020. They'll have to make a strong showing in California, which is likely to play a bigger role than ever in determining who will win the Democratic nomination, and take on Donald Trump.
I'm Andy Sullivan at Washington where potential candidates are already laying the groundwork. And many of them are expected to formally enter the race in January. The path to the White House will be very different this time, because California will be one of the earliest contests in the primary calendar.
That'll require candidates to raise a lot of money.>> California's leaders moved up their presidential primary from June to March 2020, just weeks after the first contests take place in Iowa and New Hampshire. That could give Hollywood and Silicon Valley greater influence in the nomination. Secretary of State, Alex Padilla said he made the change because he wants candidates to address issues that are important to California voters, like climate change and immigration.
With 40 million people, California is far too big for the face-to-face campaigning that's required in Iowa and New Hampshire. That places more fundraising pressure on potential candidates like former Housing Secretary, Julian Castro, who formed an exploratory committee this week. They'll have to pay for TV ads in expensive cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Several candidates could have home state advantage. Senator Kamala Harris and former Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti are expected to join the race. Billionaire, Tom Steyer, a San Francisco resident, is already hiring staff through LinkedIn. California is racially diverse and solidly liberal. Advocates say it's a better fit for today's Democratic party than states like Iowa or New Hampshire.
Putting it this early in the calendar, sets up a potential make or break scenario. Candidates who don't do well there could be forced to drop out. And that could allow the party to wrap up its nominating contest early, and unite behind a challenger to President Trump. But it could also weed out candidates who can't raise millions of dollars quickly.
That's an awkward fit for a party that often criticizes the role of money in politics.