WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton is promising to mount an aggressive campaign across California and to compete to win over "every voter in it."
Her remarks to reporters in Los Angeles on Thursday came a day after Bernie Sanders predicted he would claim the nation's most populous state in its June 7 primary, so long as he gets a strong turnout.
Clinton also appears to be looking beyond the Democratic primaries.
She calls California an "exclamation point" on the primary season, but adds that it's "important to get ready and organized for the fall election."
Clinton carried California in the 2008 Democratic primary, when she was running against then-Sen. Barack Obama.
Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, carried the state in 1992 and 1996.
The former first lady says, "I'm going to work as hard as I possibly can to do well here."
Bernie Sanders may be drawing thousands of people to his rallies and raising millions of dollars online, but increasingly, he's also making the case his campaign isn't a lost cause.
Sanders is favored over Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in this weekend's contests in Washington state, Hawaii and Alaska.
The Vermont senator also points to April votes in Wisconsin and New York, and California's June 7 primary, as other contests where he could cut into Clinton's wide lead in delegates.
That lead, however, is more than 300 pledged delegates — roughly double the margin that then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama held over Clinton during the 2008 primaries.
That math has forced Sanders to defend his path to victory amid whispers he should drop out.
Bernie Sanders has picked up the endorsement of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents about 50,000 workers along the West Coast.
The union of dock workers says Sanders was the best choice on issues such as trade, support for unions and fair wages.
Sanders says the union is a "vital part of our movement, which is spreading to every corner of our country."
The endorsement comes ahead of Saturday's contests in Washington state, Hawaii and Alaska, where the union has a presence.
Sanders also expects to compete heavily in upcoming races in Oregon and California, where the union's membership is also based.