LOS ANGELES - College student Lashané Jones thinks she may have had an easier childhood, if the minimum wage were $15 an hour.
“I grew up with a single mother, and I just watch her struggle for so long. If (she) had the pay that people make, kept up with the increasing rates in California, it would have helped so much, so much. We struggled so much. We were homeless when I was in middle school for like a year. So yeah, it (a higher minimum wage) would help a lot,” said Jones.
She said Democrat Bernie Sanders is the best presidential candidate. Sanders’ platform speaks to the growing gap between the rich and the middle class. He is pushing for raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour, and for free college tuition.
"He’s honest. I can trust him.” Jones adds. “I’m looking out for the future of my little cousins, my little sister, my future children, so it’s really a combination of everything that he stands for.”
Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are competing for votes from Democrats in the June 7 primary. Volunteers in California for both campaigns have been knocking on doors and making phone calls as primary day approaches. Many Democrats said their candidate’s character plus the issues all matter to them.
Danny Sanchez is a strong believer that his candidate, Hillary Clinton, is a better person to get the job done.
“Bernie, I think he’s a good candidate, but his ideas are a little off, as far as, I don’t think he’s a realist. As far as the minimum wage, Hillary Clinton has supported that before. She pushed it in New York. They finally pushed it. They pushed it here in L.A. as well. Some of the issues that he’s (Sanders) addressed, again Hillary is trying to address as well,” Sanchez said.
As a Mexican American, Sanchez said the issue that is personal to him is immigration reform, because of how his parents came to the U.S.
“Originally they came here illegally. Obviously from there they did went to school, they did become citizens and then of course after, they’ve been happy to be voting. They’ve been voting for quite some time. They pay their taxes like every American does.” Sanchez added, “That’s why I think everybody should have that American dream.”
Similar to many Clinton supporters, Sanchez said she is the stronger candidate to make campaign promises, such as immigration reform, a reality.
But if the presidential nominee for the Democrats is Clinton, quite a few Sanders supporters said they will not vote for her.
“I am 100 percent Bernie or bust,” Jones said.
Analysts say this type of sentiment is not unusual during a competitive primary. But much may change between now and the general election as Democrat voters contemplate the possibility of Republican Donald Trump as president.