San Diego County voters who have learned of the Associated Press calling the Democratic Presidential primary race for Hillary Clinton on Monday seemed somewhat unruffled at the prospect that it might affect turnout at the polls.
The uproar over AP’s controversial decision, quickly followed by NBC News and a host of other media outlets, has gone seismic in journalistic as well as political circles.
Critics are saying it's an irresponsible -- and possibly calculated -- move that could influence voter turnout.
The AP says the call was based on a count of super-delegates whose preference for Clinton put her "over the top".
“I have a problem with it because a lot of times it can be biased and intentionally misleading,” College-area resident Arleathea McAllister told NBC 7 in an interview Tuesday. “So that would be my concern -- why are they taking that position early on? Is it to discourage voters? What side of the fence are they on?"
There are no metrics to establish how many Sanders supporters, or even Clinton partisans don't cast ballots because of AP's reporting – which drew speculation about strategic leaks from delegates who spoke with AP.
But if certain super-delegates thought planting a story to get Clinton the label of "presumptive nominee" would lock up Super Tuesday wins, top political observers say Sanders voters could surge to the polls in a backlash while complacency among Clinton voters could take hold.
In any case, Sanders voters at the Registrar's office on Tuesday pointed out that they're quite used to voting in Presidential primaries that'll have marginal impact on the outcome.
“We've chosen, as people, to get out and vote because we do know that our vote counts -- and we will come out and vote,” said Mission Bay Elisse Moore. “I don't think we're going to be dissuaded."
Added North Park resident Cassie MacFarlane: "Honestly, voting is just so important that regardless of whether you think your person is winning or not, you should still get here and put your vote in because we want for everybody's vote to count."
An inspiring bit of perspective was offered by Claudia Tripp, a first-time voter who emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico City.
"No matter what people say, or the news, or a neighbor's opinion,” she told NBC 7, “I choose to believe in the vote and the people. And that's why I decided to come and vote.”
Claudia and her husband Hugo drove from Oceanside to the Registrar of Voters' office in Kearny Mesa to cast their first ballots – marking the oval for Sanders at the top of the ticket -- as naturalized Americans.
Other Sanders voters pounded the same theme about the fellow Bernie supporters: “There's a lot of emotion going on with this election,” noted Paradise Hills resident Ben Sanchez, “and I think they will vote."
As MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter pointed out on Twitter Tuesday, in four Presidential election cycles from 1976 to 2008, Democrats voted for "mathematical losers" in late primaries "to send a message".