CLEVELAND, Ohio — Donald Trump’s chances of winning California’s electoral votes this fall may seem slim, but state delegates to the Republican National Convention (RNC) are convinced the real estate mogul can pull it off.
“I think he’s going to win in a landslide,” Sam Barke, an 18-year-old alternate delegate from Orange County, told The Daily Caller News Foundation on the floor of the national convention at Quicken Loans Stadium in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.
Barke wasn’t alone. In fact, all 172 of California’s delegates are bound to Trump and are some of his most ardent supporters. California delegates were reportedly some of the rowdiest Tuesday night, chanting “Trump, Trump, Trump” and booing at every mention of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“California is so excited,” Said Kim Davis, a deputy whip and Trump delegate. “California is so fired up, absolutely.”
“He’s a real person, he’s not an establishment politician like the rest of these guys were,” Barke said. “He says it how it is, he says what we’re really thinking.”
California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy told reporters he didn’t think Trump could get more votes than Clinton in the Golden State this November. He told Politico Wednesday he was skeptical of Trump’s chances.
“Well I first start and say, well I don’t think so. It’s pretty difficult, because the others who ran could not. You have to go back to Bush 41 in the first term, the last time we were able to win there,” McCarthy said
“He goes, ‘no, no, really, can I win California?’ And I said well, are you going to give up any other state?” McCarthy said recalling his meetings with Trump. “‘No, no, I’m going to compete in all states.’ I mean, that’s confidence, right?”
Bob Lopez, a California Trump delegate and engineer, disagrees and absolutely thinks Trump can win California this fall. He said he connects with Trump and believes lots of Californians probably do too.
“I do. I think he has an excellent chance,” echoed Tony Beall, a delegate and mayor of Rancho Santa Margarita, when asked about Trump’s chances of winning California this fall. “He has united a movement unlike anything we’ve seen in modern history.”
Beall went so far as to say virtually every state is in play this fall. Beall said “people from the left to the right feel betrayed by their leadership over the past eight plus years.”
“I think that differentiates himself from Hillary, who’s lived on the public dole her whole life,” he said.
But are California delegates, mostly ardent Trump supporters, fooling themselves? Polling from early July showed Clinton was up 30 percentage points over Trump.
Nationally, Clinton has been leading Trump, but that lead has been shrinking as the presumptive Republican nominee consolidates his support. A recent Rasmussen poll even had Trump leading Clinton by one percentage point.
California delegates are confident Trump can close in on Hillary’s lead in the Golden State.
“I’ve personally met him, shook his hand, looked in his eyes — I can tell you, he’s a real, honest man who cares about Americans,” Davis said. “And he’s a strong leader.”
Even McCarthy admitted Trump is confident and running an unconventional campaign that could convince voters to support him this fall.
“He runs a different type of campaign,” McCarthy said. “To be respectful, you know, when he comes in to meet with our leadership, we all want to give him our advice.
“But I don’t know one person around that table that supported him in the primary,” he said. “And he’s going to look at us and say ‘I won, and you guys are going to give me advice?’”
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