Today's Super Tuesday contests won't settle the GOP presidential nomination, yet it's too soon to assume California's June 5 primary will play a role in the outcome.
But depending on how delegates distribute after today's 10 primaries or caucuses, Steve Frank, a senior California adviser to Newt Gingrich, says his candidate will make a major play for delegates in the state.
"If the delegates are as split as they appear to be, California will matter," Frank said. He said the former speaker told him in a meeting two and a half weeks ago that he'll stay in the race through Texas, where Gov. Rick Perry has endorsed him, and California.
"He made it clear to us that he's staying in through Texas and California because he's convinced those are going to be game-changers," Frank said.
Conservative blogger Jon Fleischman isn't as certain that anyone besides Romney has a chance. Once a Perry supporter, he's still in "the angry stage" that he can't find a candidate he loves.
"At some point, you shift from angry to resigned. And once you are resigned, you vote for Romney," he said.
If you're interested in playing ahead, use our "predict the vote" feature to project how electoral votes will land in the general election. You can see maps depicting how the states lined up four years ago and in 2004 as a starting point for your predictions.
The Rice Commission promotes its product today with its 11th annual Legislative Sushi Battle, a competition for what it calls the coveted Samurai Sword. The program begins at 12:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento, with sushi-making set to begin in earnest at about 1:15 p.m.
This year's contenders include California Resources Secretary John Laird and Sacramento Assemblyman Richard Pan. Attendees will dine on kalua pork and Spam musubi.
The group also plans to present its Circle of Life Award to the Natural Resources Conservation Service for its efforts on the state Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative Pilot Program in California.
PEPPER SPRAY - Cruz Reynoso's probe of the Nov. 18 incident at UC Davis in which campus police used pepper spray on protesting students was scheduled for release today - but now has been postponed. A task force headed by the former state Supreme Court justice was asked to make recommendations on handling protests to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. But the report has been delayed pending legal action by the union for campus officers, who want to prevent it from being made public.
DATING SAFETY - Violence in teen dating is the subject of a 10 a.m. press conference on the west steps of the state Capitol, where advocates will push for a bill by Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens. Lara's AB 1880 aims to put dating abuse policies into school safety plans at middle schools and high schools.
AG COUNCIL - Board of Equalization member George Runner will be at the Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa today to address the annual meeting of the Agricultural Council of California. His topic: "Will California Ever Be Business-Friendly Again?" If the answer is no, let's hope all involved at least get a good massage.