LISA DESJARDINS: Joining me now to discuss the California campaign is "NewsHour" veteran and L.A. Times assistant managing editor for politics, Christina Bellantoni.
Christina, thank you so much for joining us.
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI, Assistant Managing Editor for Politics, The Los Angeles Times: Hi, Lisa.
LISA DESJARDINS: All right, let's start with one of the biggest new phenomenon we are seeing in California this year, new voters.
What do you think all these new voters mean for Senator Sanders, and how big of a deal is this?
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI: Well, it is really hard to know, because when you see a giant number of young people registering — for example, in Los Angeles County alone, you had 61 percent of the new registrants, 236,000 people, 61 percent of those are under the age of 20.
Now, you have seen Senator Sanders has won with young voters basically everywhere. And in all polls, we have seen him doing very well with young voters here in California, so you would assume that that helps him. But you don't know, because there's a lot of people registering to vote with anger towards Donald Trump.
Hillary Clinton has plenty of young people who like her as well. So we are expecting a flood of turnout. And Sanders does seem to have quite a bit of momentum, especially here in Southern California, as he barnstorms the state. I mean, he hasn't left. He has been here every single day for multiple rallies all across the state.
LISA DESJARDINS: And the new voters, it is a very large scale, right?
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI: Yes, hundreds of thousands of people.
And Democrats allow independents to vote in their presidential primary. So you could have a lot of independent new voters showing up and voting for Senator Sanders or Hillary Clinton come June 7.
LISA DESJARDINS: Let's talk about the importance of California for Hillary Clinton. If she loses, how much of an issue do you think that really would be? We expect her to clinch the nomination either way.
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI: It is embarrassing, most populous state, you know, very strong Democratic state, a state Democrats are expected to capture.
But she could very much win here. The Clintons have a long history in California. She has a lot of quiet support. Of the congressional delegation, all but four have endorsed Hillary Clinton. Those other four have actually not taken a position at all. Sanders doesn't have any congressional support here.
So, those friends matter when it comes to organizing and getting voters to show up.
LISA DESJARDINS: All right, let's quickly turn to the general election, which is so fascinating, Christina, Donald Trump saying he will make a play for California and its 55 electoral votes.
Can he really win, or is he just trying to spread out the Democrats here?
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI: You know, of course, anything can happen.
You can't forget that California did have a history of voting for Republicans for 20 years, ending with George H.W. Bush in 1988.
But when you consider this is a majority minority state, we have got huge numbers of Latino voters here, a large population of Asian voters, and also it is a very strongly Democratic state, expected to retain the Senate seat, as Barbara Boxer is retiring.
So, I would say that that is a pretty big long shot. In addition to that, the Republicans in California, who are the smallest numbers of registered voters, they are moderate. They're not the most conservative Republicans in the country.
So, all of those factors make me think Donald Trump is not likely to spend a lot of time here campaigning.
LISA DESJARDINS: Well, we will be watching either way.
Christina Bellantoni of The L.A. Times, thank you so much for joining us.
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI: Thank you.