Politics heating up in Bakersfield

Posted at 2:15 PM, May 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-26 20:31:54-04

Presidential candidate Donald Trump officially clinched the GOP nomination with enough delegates Thursday morning.

This comes on the heels of Bernie Sanders announcing he'll be in Bakersfield this Saturday. Thursday morning Sanders supporters were making calls to garner more votes and preparing for his visit.

"Senator Sanders cares about Bakersfield, and that's why he's coming out here," Neel Sannappa said they're talking with no party preference voters, to convince them to vote for Sanders.

Former President Bill Clinton came to Bakersfield last weekend to solidify his wife's support amongst Hispanic voters. Jeanine Kraybill, Assistant Professor at CSUB said the reason presidential candidates are coming to Bakersfield, is because we have a very diverse demographic.

While Kern County has historically been a conservative pocket of California, Kraybill says Census data reveals a dip in Republican voters.

This is where the Democratic candidates are looking to sway remaining voters, and appeal to the homeless, working class and Hispanic voters.

Dr. Dean Haddock, Chairman of the Kern County Republican Party, said the candidates are also looking to pick up the union vote and pull in some cash for their campaign.

When it comes to Trump not showing up in Bakersfield to garner more votes, Kraybill says that has more to do with the fact he does not have anyone running against him.

"We wish some of the candidates running against him would have stayed in a little bit longer, because then we would be having all that action all the other states had," Dr. Haddock said.

Both Haddock and Kraybill think Trump will eventually come to Bakersfield. Kraybill says he's focusing on Republican strongholds at the moment.