HolyCoast: California's Stupid Open Primary Rule Give the GOP a Gift

Friday, June 08, 2012

California's Stupid Open Primary Rule Give the GOP a Gift

I'm not at all a fan of open primaries. This first go around gave us two districts where two Democrats will run in the general election against each other without a Republican candidate. However, there was one bright spot as a result:
In California’s 31st Congressional District, the state’s new open primary system did not serve Democrats well Tuesday.

Two Republican candidates will square off in November for the district’s U.S. House seat, even though it has more registered Democrats than Republicans, Ballot Access News reported.

California voters approved a new “top two” primary system in June 2011 in an attempt to encourage less partisanship in statewide elections. The system produces a runoff election between the top two candidates in the primary — regardless of party — instead of letting each party hold a primary to select a candidate for the general election.

The four Democratic candidates in the 31st District split Democrats’ votes on Tuesday, giving the two Republican candidates the top two spots.

Republican candidates Gary Miller and Bob Dutton took first and second place, respectively, with 26.9 percent and 25.1 percent of the vote. Democratic candidate Pete Aguilar trailed closely behind with 22.5 percent. Had fewer Democratic candidates run, Augilar would have likely closed that gap. Now, the Republican Party is guaranteed a House seat after the November election.
Democrats had hoped to pick up several seats in California this year. As I posted earlier it looks like that isn't going to happen.  The GOP will certainly pick up one seat neither party had thought would change hands.


Sam L. said...

I be amaz-ed.

Larry said...

There was a recent column by Colbert I King in the Washington Post about DC's primary system guaranteeing Democrats having a monopoly on power there. 25% of the city is allegedly Republican, yet they're all but shut out of any representation because whoever wins the DNC primary is the presumed winner in the general election.

King proposed a top-two system like California to at least give the 25% some chance. King is a big lefty by the way.