On June 5, 2012, the state of California held a nonpartisan blanket primary where candidates running for the United States Senate and the United States Congress ran in the same respective primary regardless of party affiliation. Known as the “Top 2” Primary, the top two candidates in the primary advance to a run-off in November’s general election. Traditional open/closed primary elections guarantee a nominee from each political party who holds a party primary. Therefore, if three parties hold primary elections, then each party will have a nominee on the ballot in the general election. In a “Top 2” system, no party is guaranteed a nominee in the second round of voting. You could end up with the top two primary winners from the same political party. In the case of the California, eight November Congressional contests will have two candidates from the same political party (six – Democrat vs. Democrat, two – Republican vs. Republican). In four cases, a major political party is shut out of the general election (three – Democrat vs. Independent, one – Republican vs. Independent). Forty-one races still have the traditional Democrat vs. Republican two-party contest. That also holds true for the United States Senate race, as a Democrat and a Republican will be the only two on the general election ballot. The Green, Libertarian, and Peace and Freedom Parties will not have a candidate in November’s Senate and Congressional elections in California.
What are your opinions on a “Top 2” Primary? Do you favor such an election? Do you favor the traditional open/closed primaries that most states have where each party will have some form of representation on Election Day?
Below are a couple of races that have piqued the interests of voters in California.
In the 33rd Congressional District, Incumbent Congressman Henry Waxman (D) is going up against Bill Bloomfield (I). This district is newly drawn up after the Congressional districts were redrawn after 2010 Census. Waxman is currently the representative of the 30th Congressional District.
Another race worth a look is in the 30th Congressional District, where Congressman Howard Berman (D) of the 28th Congressional District is going up against Congressman Brad Sherman (D) of the 27th Congressional District. Both of their seats were redrawn into the newly redistricted 30th. The race has been contentious at times.