This time, however, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate’s proposal to check Big Tech may complicate her relationship with a state that has traditionally been a cash cow for her. California is home to three of the four companies Warren has explicitly targeted in her plan: Apple, Facebook, and Google. The state is also rich in wealthy political donors and primary delegates alike.
The Massachusetts senator has sworn off courting wealthy donors in the Democratic primary. Although delegates are awarded proportionately, the rewards in terms of momentum for the presidential candidates are potentially huge, especially as California has bumped up its primary date to early March of 2020.
Lisa Gritzner, a Los Angeles political consultant who has worked with Google, Microsoft, and Uber, says Warren’s proposal might play well with some on the “extreme ends” of the Democratic Party. But, she says it’s unlikely to do well with the majority of Californians who fall on both sides of the political spectrum.
“This is where people come to start their companies, their startups, their dreams,” Gritzner says. “And so the idea that all of a sudden somebody decides you’re too big or they don’t agree with the way you’re conducting your business and the government comes in and takes over — that’s not exactly the kind of sentiment I think that the majority of Californians hold.”
Mark Gonzalez, chair of the Los Angeles Democratic Party, admits Big Tech might need more regulation, but says Warren’s plan is unlikely to be palatable for most Californians.
“She makes a point in terms of how tech industries need to be regulated, but we have to be able to work with them as well, because they do provide sustenance to the entire state,” Gonzalez says. “There are Democrats who are pragmatic and who are business-friendly, and you know, that’s who we’re going to work with, and that’s basically the future. I think folks might think there is a little bit of a disconnect between what she’s saying versus what is actually going on.”
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