Heard about this? Well, you will.
Basically, open primaries are where the top two vote getters move on to the general, with the hopeful net result being that Dems and Repubs wouldn’t have to appeal to the more extreme elements of their party to get to the big show.
So, no more party primaries. And that has folks on both sides up in arms.
Republicans think it would result in general elections where you have Democrat vs Democrat instead of Republicans vs Democrats.
Others are worried that it would mean that whoever spends the most money in the primaries will get the most votes and proceed to the general.
Still others think that this would actually crowd out 3rd parties.
The Center for Government Studies has issued this 102-page report on California’s Proposition 14, the “top-two” ballot measure on the June 8, 2010 ballot. The study, by Molly Milligan, studies whether Proposition 14 would create more moderate California politicians. The study suggests that the measure would tend to create more moderates in the State Senate.
The study also finds that campaign spending would increase, because many candidates who now have a completely safe primary process would need to spend enough money to win twice before the entire electorate. The study also says, on page 17, in footnote 11, that in the Massachusetts special U.S. Senate election of January 2010, if Massachusetts had used top-two, Scott Brown would not have qualified for the second round. In the real world, Brown won the election.
Finally, the study concludes that there would be a good share of legislative races, and some U.S. House races, in which the November election would be between two Democrats. However, the study does not believe there would be November elections between two Republicans.
So what do you think? A good idea?
The vote is in June.