Open Primaries (March 2019) - Open Primaries
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Open Primaries (March 2019)

Posted by Russell Daniels on April 01, 2019 at 4:37 PM

It's been a busy week for Open Primaries.  Here's what's going on around the country:

Landmark Research Shows Top 2 is Working in CA:  

The USC Schwarzenegger Institute has just released a ground-breaking series of white papers by Charles Munger Jr. that take a comprehensive, data-driven look at the effects of California’s adoption of top two open primaries on its politics.

Munger demonstrates that California’s top two open primary is delivering productive reforms on a wide range of electoral and political fronts including creating greater competition, greater public interest, increased access for independent voters (25.5% of registered voters), and greater accountability between voters and their elected representatives.  

Some key findings include:

  • The top-two primary system creates an opportunity for more voters to participate and vote for any candidate, including no-party preference voters.
  • The top-two primary has led to increased electoral competition.
  • The sequence of two rounds has allowed for the candidate who would have lost a closed party primary to advance and win the general election.
  • Under the top-two primary, almost all voters participate in same-party general elections.
  • Minor or third parties in California have done as well before and after the implementation of the top-two primary.    
  • Top two open primaries do not favor one party over the other. In 458 of 459 legislative elections held from 2012 to 2016, the general election winner reflected the partisanship of the constituency.  

"One argument opponents of California's open primary have put forth is that the top two system is flawed because it does not guarantee that a Democrat and a Republican face off in November.  This research exposes that it is the partisan system that fails by that measure. Nationally, Democrats and Republican legislative candidates face off in general elections 61% of the time. 39% of races feature just one candidate on the ballot.  In California, a Democrat and a Republican face off 75% of the time, 14% higher than the national average. And the other 25% of races are highly competitive D on D, R on R, or independent v. D or R races. In California, races are fiercely competitive.  In states using the outdated partisan primary system, almost 4 in 10 legislators face no opposition on the November ballot. That's a disgrace and it exposes why Democratic and Republican insiders are so keen to discredit the top two system. They don't favor increased competition."

     -John Opdycke, President of Open Primaries

Munger’s data-driven analysis exposes the inaccurate talking points that have been repeated as truth for years by establishment opponents in both parties. The top two system is working for the voters of California!

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