When Hillary Rodham Clinton won the 2008 California Presidential Primary going away with 51.5% against 43.2% for Barack Obama, there was little question about who the state’s voters favored.

In 2016 California will still be solid Democratic (ergo Clinton) territory with no foreseeable opponent that could muscle her out—although Bernie Sanders will draw some votes from the Left.

With the exception of San Francisco, Clinton had especially strong showings in Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Clara Counties particularly among Hispanics, white women, moderates and those who call themselves “somewhat conservative.”

Obama did better among African-Americans, white males, younger voters and liberals—all of them groups in which Clinton will have to improve her numbers both here and nation-wide.

Positioning herself as “a progressive who can get things done,” leaves her nearest opponent, Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, with little wiggling room.

The middle and lower income voters who have been the most talked about and perhaps the least benefitted by income stagnation and job losses over the past eight years have found a militant if unlikely champion in Sanders—a self-described Democratic Socialist.

Spouting an unfamiliar brand of New England populism, Sanders has attracted big crowds in California.  But with the exception of his opposition to tougher gun laws not in favor in his hunting-happy state, Sander’s anti-Big Business stances (his primary issue) differ little from Clinton’s except in the degree of regulation each favors.

On the GOP side voter anger paradoxically elevated Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson to the top of the polls whose millionaire bona-fides were served well by the same Wall Street-based interests which the unhappy middle class perceives as the arch enemy.

Trump has begun to lose ground in the first-in-the-nation caucus votes in Iowa with Carson rising, and Tea Party favorite, Texas’s Ted Cruz, a stealth threat who could surprise.

I predict the amateurs will see their bubbles burst eventually as voters catch on to their deficiencies. And if Jeb Bush continues to plummet and the money keeps drying up, Marco Rubio will emerge as the nominee.

California Republicans would be quick to embrace a young, personable, articulate, seasoned legislator of Hispanic heritage with a strong grasp of foreign policy who could go toe-to-toe with Hillary.

Still, the distance we have travelled from Ronald Reagan’s new “morning in America” to Sander’s call for a “political revolution” is mind-boggling. Expectations keep rising while execution it seems always falls short.

Is this attributable to a failure in leadership, or will the electorate always demand a standard of perfection that is unachievable regardless of who is in charge?

My guess is it’s a combination of the two.

If so, then candidates must either lower their sights while persuading a doubting public that their prescriptions are the best we are going to get, or they can continue making promises they are not likely to fulfill.

Obama’s most ardent believers probably, though unrealistically, hoped for even more from a president who managed to compile a fairly strong record of achievement despite fierce opposition. Californians for most part have been in lock-step with his policies including enactment of the most controversial one– affordable healthcare.

Clinton would be wise to embrace the best aspects of his legacy (something Al Gore foolishly chose not to do in 2000 as her husband’s would-be successor) while at the same time demonstrating that she is strong, smart enough and will put forward her own agenda.

Her talents were on full display before the Benghazi investigation tribunal and in the first debate, even eliciting grudging praise from some of her opponents.

With the Battle of Benghazi about over, Joe Biden out of the race and the e-mail flap losing steam there is little standing between her and the nomination if she can avoid any major mistakes. Also, former President, Bill Clinton, still enjoys enormous popularity in California which will assure that his wife’s frequent visits here will always be hospitable and lucrative.