We’ll be reporting from Philadelphia all week and live-blogging each night. Check out all our dispatches from the Democratic convention here.
PHILADELPHIA — Spreading through the better parts of sections 104, 105 and 106 of the Wells Fargo Center, California’s delegation has been at the center of every stadium drama at this week’s Democratic National Convention. The much-talked-about Monday boos? California started them. The powerful chanting that overtook the arena Wednesday night during former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s remarks? California played a key role.
Hillary Clinton is speaking tonight, and given her divisiveness as a candidate within the Democratic Party, many are nervous about the sort of reception she’ll get during her prime-time remarks. If very recent history is any guide, and Clinton is booed, California will be behind it. So why is the American land of milk and honey seemingly so angry and divided?
Ben Muirhead, 23, a Bernie Sanders delegate from Santa Clara, chalked up the state’s unruliness in large part to its size — there are 551 California delegates altogether, and although Clinton won the state, Sanders supporters are still numerous and are more likely to be in the state’s stadium seats during the proceedings. “They’re high-propensity delegates, if you will,” Muirhead said, pointing out that many of the state’s more than 70 superdelegates, most of whom are for Clinton, are often out roving around the stadium or attending outside events. Many of the Sanders-supporting delegates are attending their first convention.
Margarita Lacabe of San Leandro, another Sanders delegate, agreed that many in their ranks were new to the process.
“Maybe 5 percent have party experience,” she said, referring to the caucus of Sanders supporters within the delegation.
When I met Lacabe, she was standing on the steps of section 105, directing Clinton supporters to the lower …