A planned speech by Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in Costa Mesa, California, is drawing the ire of local Democrats, including the Democratic Party of Orange County and the Orange County Young Democrats. Both groups are coordinating a protest against the speech set for Thursday evening, months before voters cast their ballots in California's June 7 primary, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“We do not believe that there is any room for racism, sexism, religious bigotry, disregard for international law, violence or any other such phenomena in our political discourse,” the newspaper quoted the Orange County Young Democrats as saying in a statement. “As such, we expressly condemn Donald Trump, declare that his values are not Orange County’s values, and we urge all other citizens of Orange County to do the same.”
Trump’s rally is set for 7 p.m. PDT. It can be viewed in the live stream below.
Trump is leading the Republican presidential race in recent California polls. A CBS News/YouGov poll found that about 49 percent of Republican voters said they backed Trump and 31 percent said they supported U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Republicans outnumber Democrats in Orange County, which is south of Los Angeles County.
The Thursday evening speech comes several days after supporters and opponents of the candidate clashed outside Anaheim City Hall as the City Council voted on a resolution to condemn the candidate. The resolution failed, but it further underscored a divide over the real-estate mogul’s candidacy, which has built a strong support base.
Although many first thought Trump’s presidential run was a long shot, he now seems the inevitable nominee for the Republican Party. Trump has collected 992 delegates in the race so far, while his closest contender, Cruz, trails with 562 delegates, according to an Associated Press count. Both Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who has 153 delegates, are trying to block Trump from reaching the 1,237 delegates needed to assure his nomination.