She will lean into the new primary calendar that, along with the sidelining of super delegates who used to be able to shape the nomination, will take shape in ways no one is quite sure of. It’s not just that her home state of California, where she’s immensely popular, now has its primary right after the traditional first four states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. It’s that, because of early voting, in California, as well as in North Carolina, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee and Vermont—all scheduled for that first Tuesday in March—people will be voting before the results are in from those first four states.
In a field that for the first time ever will have multiple women, multiple African-Americans and multiple progressives, she’s looking to draw support from each of the traditional lanes.
Her prospective opponents are hoping she does what frontrunners usually do: burn bright, then burn out. They are impressed with her, but wonder if it’ll matter that she has a reputation for being mean—they people who say it insist that they’re not just falling into the typical sexist trap, that it’s something more—or standoffish, or that all her experience being a prosecutor is that she hasn’t ever really run much. She’s tried to head off the complaints that she’s not substantive enough, and last week introduced a bill that immediately became a centerpiece of her stump speech: a $6,000 tax credit to families making less than $100,000. People are already digging through her old cases again. True to form, Trump allies have started seeding questions about the spike in city homelessness while she was San Francisco.