Romney believes McCain's past support for a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws -- including a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants -- is his biggest vulnerability in the state, said Rob Stutzman, Romney's campaign advisor in California. "The L.A. media markets touch half the congressional districts in the state," Stutzman said. "That's more delegates than Missouri and Alabama, so it's a good use of his time."
Romney's supporters have zeroed in on areas with low percentages of GOP voters because in the primary the state's Republican Party will dole out three delegates to the winner of each of the state's 53 congressional districts. (Eleven at-large delegates also go to the top vote-getter in the state, and three unpledged delegates will be left to party leaders).
So even in the state's 8th Congressional District in San Francisco, where Republicans account for less than 10% of the registered voters, the winner in the GOP primary will receive three delegates -- the same as the winner in the most Republican district in Orange County.
McCain will make a stop today in San Diego, holding a short rally at an airplane hangar at Lindbergh Field to squeeze out a few last ounces of television coverage during a final get-out-the-vote rally.
McCain's campaign on Monday had scores of volunteers calling Republicans, including mail-in voters who had yet to return their ballots, said campaign spokeswoman Jill Buck.
"Everything is phone, phone, phone," Buck said.
A crew of supporters also gathered at a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in Gardena to burn up the phone lines. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who endorsed McCain last week, dropped by in the early afternoon and dialed for about 40 minutes.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee hasn't had a major presence in California, instead devoting most of his energy on Southern states.
Brian Snow, a Huckabee volunteer in Sacramento, said partisans have staffed phone banks for the campaign, but most of those calls were to voters in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Oklahoma.
"I guess it's all part of what people are calling the Southern strategy," Snow said. "But I will say that in California, we think he's going to win a couple districts . . . he'll get something."