Hillary Clinton Shifts Schedule to Focus on Calif. Before Tight Primary

Her camp denies it's reflective of her being concerned about losing the state.

ByABC News
May 31, 2016, 1:04 PM

— -- Hillary Clinton has shifted her game plan to show more love to California before the state's June 7 primary.

The Democratic front-runner changed her schedule for this week, canceling a Thursday event in New Jersey in order to be in California on the days leading up to next Tuesday’s election there.

She will now be in California from June 2 to June 6, her campaign said this weekend.

This isn't the first time she has changed her schedule to allow more face time with California voters: She also added a roundtable event in Oakland Friday before heading back to the East Coast for the Memorial Day weekend.

But a Clinton campaign aide dismissed speculation that the changes are an indication of anything more than scheduling adjustments. The aide said they always knew it would be a competitive race in California, and have prepared for such.

Close Polling

The schedule changes come as polling suggests the race in the Golden State has been tightening.

The Public Policy Institute of California released a poll last week showing that Clinton was leading Sanders by 2 percentage points, putting the race inside the margin of error.

The race has grown closer since the group's most recent poll, released March 24, which had Clinton with a 7-point lead.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses a rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, Calif., May 30, 2016.
Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Shaping the Ad Buys

Sanders also appears to have at least partially forced Clinton's hand when it comes to the ad front: Sanders' campaign announced it made a $1.5 million ad buy in the state on May 24, and the next day, a Clinton aide told ABC News that Clinton would start airing multilingual ads there Friday.

The exact price tag on her ads, which include one ad voiced by actor Morgan Freeman and others in Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese and Cantonese, has not been released but the aide said it was a six-figure buy.

Big-Name Endorsement

Another significant development came today when Gov. Jerry Brown announced his endorsement of Clinton in an open letter on his website.

Brown noted that he is "deeply impressed" by how well Sanders has done and made a reference to his own campaign against a Clinton. Brown ran against Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential race, and said in today's letter that he had "attempted a similar campaign" to Sanders’.

"This is no time for Democrats to keep fighting each other,” Brown wrote. “The general election has already begun. Hillary Clinton, with her long experience, especially as secretary of state, has a firm grasp of the issues and will be prepared to lead our country on day one.”