(CN) – The whole wild west is feeling the Bern. As western Super Tuesday states trickle in, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders added California to wins in Utah and Colorado, contributing to the western wall he is hoping to build between himself and former Vice President Joe Biden’s early East Coast victories.
A whopping 81% of the Golden State’s 20.4 million registered voters are expected to vote in the primary. Although Sanders is projected to win with voters previously wooed by Hillary Clinton in 2016, many voters weighed their options in hour-long lines.
Multiple sources called the race in favor of Sanders as soon as polls closed and with 43% of precincts reporting the California Secretary of State’s office had him with 30% of the vote, followed by Biden at 20% and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg at 17%.
Sanders is expected to net 200 of the state's 415 delegates.
In Pasadena’s historic City Hall earlier in the day, voting took place inside the council chambers decorated with wood and brass. Outside the chambers stretched a slow-moving line.
Emerging with an “I voted” sticker, Verona Tang said she cast her ballot for Bloomberg.
“I’m in business. Not all businesspeople are bad, not all businesspeople are wealthy,” Tang said. “It’s not fair to keep beating up on business.”
Tang, a 43-year-old native of Taiwan, runs a small wholesale business that offers Asian products such as dried seaweed to restauranteurs in Los Angeles. “We want someone more balanced, not super-right or super-left.”
Walking to the stairway that led away from the voting area, but without a sticker, Debbie Muimarian, 56, a personal trainer with her own business, said she had been a Republican.
“The Republican Party does not align with my thinking,” she said, describing herself as a compassionate conservative.
She described her voting as “strategic.” She had tried to register as an independent but wound up designated by the county registrar as an American Independent, a far-right party she does not support.
She planned to switch to the Democratic Party and vote for Biden after work and before the polls closed Tuesday. “I am hopeful,” she said of Biden. “I just think he is a good person.”
“Bernie!” said Ariana, a design student in her 20s. “He’s more consistent and on the liberal side.”
She voted for him four years ago, as well. “I agree with him on health care, and he seems more open to queer people.”
She found Biden “too conservative and a little inconsistent.” She was with friends taking photos of the Mediterranean Revival-style City Hall built in the 1920s, having voted earlier by mail.
Similarly, Edith Oregel, who is Hispanic and the youngest employee at the Pasadena office of Courthouse News, voted for Sanders.