Now that Rick Santorum has dropped out of the GOP race, Mitt Romney is all but crowned as the party’s nominee. Back in January, the president of the California Republican Assembly spoke of the state’s stepchild status, telling the Sacramento Bee: “Sadly, we are irrelevant [in presidential politics]. Come June, there will be a nominee. We will not have been at the table.” Celeste Greig, the CRA leader, echoed the longtime gripe that California rarely has a hand in deciding presidential nominees—except for acting as their campaign ATM.
The 2012 primary was moved to June as a result of Assembly Bill 80, which was sold as a cost savings. In earlier years, California presidential primaries were June 2 (1992), March 26 (1996), March 7 (2000), March 2 (2004) and Feb. 5 (2008). So what can we do to make our primary matter?