What are the advantages and disadvantages of a blanket primary?
I ask this more in trying to understand the new blank primary rules for the 2014 California gubernatorial election. What are the advantages to candidates in this kind of election? Does it help allow more voting options? Does it strengthen or hurt third party or independent candidates? Can this result in one party rule between two similar candidates of the same party? Will this make or break Jerry Brown's chances of winning a second (technically fourth) term?
- Tmess2Lv 76 years agoFavorite Answer
The theoretical advantage of a jungle primary is that it takes political parties out of the equation.
In a jungle primary, all candidates from all parties run in one primary with the top two advancing to the general. This means that you can vote for a Democrat in the primary for Governor, a Republican in the primary for Congress, a Libertarian in the primary for Attorney-General, and a Green Party candidate in your state representative race.
In short, you get more choices in the primary (as you don't have to pick one party for all of the races), but fewer choices in the general (as only two advance to the general election).
In theory, by forcing candidates to appeal to all voters to get through the primary, this system is supposed to guarantee at least one moderate candidate in the general election, and increase bipartisanship after the election.
As far as aiding individual candidates or parties, it depends upon the circumstances of the race. Some candidates who might win a closed partisan primary will not finish in the top two in a blanket primary. Other candidates who might lose a closed partisan primary might make the top two in a blanket primary. In 2012, 4 of the 53 congressional races had an independent in the final two candidates.
Because multiple candidates from the same party can enter the same race, it is possible for the top two in a given race to be from the same party. In 2012, 7 of the 53 congressional races came down to two candidates from the same party.
As far as Jerry Brown, I do not see the new primary system making much of a difference. He would be strongly favored to win a Democratic primary and should be strongly favored to make the top two in a blanket primary. Potentially, the difference might impact who faces Jerry Brown, but it is hard to tell this far out whether that will help or hurt Governor Brown.
As to constitutionality, the new system in California mirrors the system in Washington (state) and Louisiana. The United States Supreme Court has already rejected a challenge to the system in Washington.
- L2Lv 56 years ago
Brown wants to be a God. But yes, their new blanket policy gives more of an option of having the same party take all; even when it comes to the electoral votes for the presidency.
I think it's not the best the Californians have ever come up with, and it can be challenged in the Supreme Court and shut down, the state constitutions can not be in conflict with the Constitution of the United States.