Because it has been a victory state for Democratic presidential candidates since 1992, it's assumed that Obama will win in November. Both campaigns, therefore, have focused their efforts on winning the battleground states such as Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada and Florida, coming to the largest state in the nation only for campaign fundraisers. "All we're good for is a checkbook," said Mark Petracca, a political science professor at the University of California, Irvine. "And that's a shame," he said, "because the nation can't recover economically until California does."

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