Here's the beauty part: The candidates have figured out that those endorsements matter, so they're starting to suck up to party elites to win them. As Roll Call reports:
California’s new top-two primary system was supposed to revolutionize the state’s political process. Instead, it’s forcing candidates to revert to an antiquated practice: competing for the state party’s endorsement.I suppose reformers can take credit for helping to bring about greater competition in primaries. But it also appears to be the case that the top-two system has strengthened the hand of party leaders. Candidates recognize the value of the endorsement, and they're willing to pay a price, perhaps ideologically, to win it.
(h/t Eric McGhee)