California Voters

This year's California primary might be memorable because of who votes, not who wins.  We'll explore how this unusual presidential primary is motivating voters, and even non-voters, to join the political process.


Crowd: “Bernie! Bernie!”

Derrick Shore: For a while there it looked like all eyes would be on California’s June 7th primary.   For the first time in decades we actually saw presidential candidates campaigning here.

Hillary Clinton: “I can’t wait to be here campaigning in this great state.”

Donald Trump: “I don’t know why the hell I’m here.   We’re not going until the 7th, right? 7th!”

Derrick Shore: And voters were fired up. Chanting for Trump…

Crowd: “President Trump, Build that Wall! Who's gonna pay for it? Mexico!”

Derrick Shore:Hoping for a selfie with Hillary.Even roller skating for Bernie. But now with just one Republican candidate left..

Donald Trump: “We’re not gonna lose. We’re gonna start winning again and we’re gonna win bigly.”

Derrick Shore: And Bernie vowing to stay in the race despite Hillary’s lead in delegates…

Bernie Sanders: “I do not deny it for one second that we have an uphill battle in front of us.  Uh but I think we have a path to a victory although it is a narrow path.”   

Derrick Shore: So what impact will California’s primary even have?

Hillary Clinton: “I am really looking forward to the June 7th primary here in California.”

Derrick Shore: And how will this race affect who gets out to vote?

Bob Stern: “This is one of the most exciting elections we've had in my lifetime.”

Derrick Shore: Bob Stern is a political analyst.

Bob Stern: “We've never seen so much interest. Both on the Republican side and the Democratic side. We'll see record breaking turnout.”

Derrick Shore: Record-breaking turnout from a voter demographic that is changing – partly because of what’s happening *here.*

(Crowd applauding, cheers).

Derrick Shore: Every single month in Los Angeles new citizens take the oath.On this day, 10,000 people were sworn in.

Singer: “And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air…”

Derrick Shore: And many of them, their first stop was registering to vote. Many new citizens are Latino and polls show 77 percent of Latinos disapprove of Trump.

Bob Stern: Trump has alienated them so much that a lot of Latinos are becoming citizens and are registering to vote.

Derrick Shore: So far this year, voter registration growth among Latinos has doubled.

Derrick Shore: You walk so fast!

Divina: She is faster than me.

Derrick Shore: Maria and Divina are canvassing a neighborhood in Canoga Park. They’re urging Latinos to vote. “I think should be down… a la derecha?”

Derrick Shore: Ironically neither Maria nor Divina can cast a ballot.  They aren’t citizens.  But that isn’t stopping them from encouraging other Latinos to get out and vote.

Maria: I would like to confirm if you are going to vote.

Derrick Shore: Since most registered Latino voters in California are Democrats, they’ll be deciding between Hillary and Bernie during the primary.  So even if many Latinos are motivated to vote against Trump, California is already projected to go Democratic in the general election as it has since 1988.

Derrick Shore: Still, Trump is getting a lot of attention and causing protests like this one in Orange County.

Donald Trump: “Latinos for Trump, I love that. Thank you.”

Derrick Shore: But not all Latinos dislike “The Donald.”

Chris Garcia: He is not the perfect candidate but I like the ideas that he's got.

Derrick:  Meet Chris Garcia.  He’s the son of a Mexican immigrant and he’s a proud Republican and Trump supporter. 

Chris Garcia:  I happen to think that Donald Trump would be a more sound solution because of his business background and because of his policies and we got to find a way to give a voice to people again.

Derrick Shore: Chris says Trump represents a major step away from establishment politics. 

Chris Garcia: There is a growing consensus among young people that are supporting Donald trump and Bernie Sanders who are fed up with the status quo.

Derrick Shore: And like many other millennial Republicans, Chris feels some social issues aren’t really issues.

Chris Garcia: So let's say for example the idea of gay marriage. Millennial just don't care. I think at my generation millennials in particular we have an opportunity this election to shift the Republican Party in California.

Derrick Shore: As for Trump’s infamous insults…

Donald Trump: “And then you see him eating in the morning, do you ever see – I have never seen – he’s stuffing pancakes in his mouth like this.”

Derrick Shore: Chris says it’s all part of a campaign strategy.

Chris Garcia: With an unscripted candidate like Donald trump you are going to say things that don't sound exactly diplomatic. A lot of things he says remember are because he is an entertainer he is a reality show host.

Derrick Shore: Party politics aside, California voters are becoming more diverse.  And it’s not just because of Latinos.

Marilu Guevara: We have about 1,000 people of different backgrounds, multilingual families...mixed status families that are coming today to fill out the immigration application.

Derrick Shore:  This is what’s called a citizenship expo. Immigrants who want to become citizens came to the Long Beach convention center to get help with their applications.  Many of them motivated by this year’s election.

Marilu Guevara: A lot of Latinos, a lot of other uh multilingual communities see this election as personally affecting them. They have a stake.

Derrick Shore: And Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti agrees.

Derrick Shore: Do you feel like LA and Southern California could really be an influence in this election?

Mayor Eric Garcetti: Unquestionably. I mean I think in Los Angeles not only are we a center of culture and not only is Hollywood here...but we're the center of immigration, the most diverse city, ever.

Derrick Shore:  In LA County alone an estimated 770,000 immigrant residents are eligible to become citizens but haven’t started the process yet.  But the advocates we spoke with said citizenship applications are undeniably on the rise.

Derrick Shore: Back in Canoga Park Maria and Divina will continue getting out the vote. It’s the best way they know how to make their voices heard.

Maria: I'm undocumented but I'm here to strengthen the voice of my people. The voice of all my companions who are just like me.

Derrick Shore: As Clinton and Trump inch closer to those magic numbers – 1237 for Republicans, 2383 for Democrats – we could see something we haven’t ever seen in California: presidential campaign ads like these.

Derrick Shore: And we’ll see diehard fans drumming up support, hoping to see their candidate take the White House.

Derrick Shore: For "SoCal Connected," I’m Derrick Shore.

Get the free PBS App

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Access Denied

An investigation reveals how the state and many cities have let developers get away for decades with not paying their fair share when they replace affordable lodging with luxury hotels up and down California’s coast.

  • 2020-08-15T05:30:00-07:00

Born to Run

The Los Angeles Jets youth track and field club is one of the oldest and most established running teams in California. It was founded in South Los Angeles in 1973 by then West Vernon Elementary school teacher Ron Moore.  Five years later James Robertson and Booker Woods joined as coaches and the team became one of the largest co-ed running groups in the city.

  • 2020-08-18T13:00:00-07:00
  • 2020-08-18T17:00:00-07:00
  • 2020-08-19T22:00:00-07:00
  • 2020-08-20T04:30:00-07:00
  • 2020-08-20T14:00:00-07:00
  • 2020-08-22T05:30:00-07:00

Under Pressure

Parents are willing to spend thousands to get the competitive edge in the college admissions process, but at what cost? Socal Connected takes a revealing look at the high stakes world of the for-profit education consultant business.

The following changes were made to the original episode:
Students featured in the #decisionday section were replaced with new photos.

  • 2020-08-25T13:00:00-07:00
  • 2020-08-25T17:00:00-07:00
  • 2020-08-26T22:00:00-07:00
  • 2020-08-27T04:30:00-07:00
  • 2020-08-27T14:00:00-07:00

Cannabis Country

State and local regulators are overwhelmed and outgunned when it comes to closing down California’s poisonous pot pipeline.

  • 2020-09-01T13:00:00-07:00
  • 2020-09-01T17:00:00-07:00
  • 2020-09-02T22:00:00-07:00
  • 2020-09-03T05:00:00-07:00
  • 2020-09-03T14:00:00-07:00
  • 2020-09-07T04:00:00-07:00
  • 2020-09-07T12:00:00-07:00

Fire Station 9

Take a rare behind-the-scenes look inside the busiest fire station in the country, where firefighters act as both primary care providers and emergency responders for the nearly 5,000 people living on Skid Row.

  • 2020-09-08T17:00:00-07:00
  • 2020-09-09T22:00:00-07:00
  • 2020-09-10T05:00:00-07:00
  • 2020-09-13T13:00:00-07:00