Louisiana’s Jungle Primary

In Louisiana, they have primary system that is sometimes called a “jungle primary“.  This open form of a primary allows candidates for office to run on one ballot, regardless of party affiliation.

The 1991 Louisiana Primary for Governor
Edwin Edwards (D) 33.8%
David Duke (R) 31.7%
Buddy Roemer (R) 26.5%
Clyde Holloway (R) 5.3%
Others (including R, D, and I candidates) 2.2%

Since no candidate received a simple majority, a second election was held.  Edwards defeated Duke 61-39%.  In this case, a Democrat ran against a Republican in the second round.  You could, however, end up with two candidates from the same party who run against each other in the second round.

In most other states, the conventional open and closed primary systems are used.  In each case, a nominee is chosen by the public for each party.  In open states, party affiliation is not a prerequisite for voting in either party’s primary.  In closed primary states, you can only vote in the party primary under the label you are registered.  Louisiana continues to use the “jungle primary”.  What is your opinion on the “jungle primary”?

On a side note, the Louisiana race was an intriguing one due to the candidates who ran at the time.  Edwin Edwards was an ethically challenged former Governor who lost a re-election bid to Governor Buddy Roemer.  Roemer was elected in 1987 as a Democrat but then switched his affiliation to the Republican Party midway through his term.  David Duke was a state Representative who was once the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux KlanClyde Holloway was a Congressman who, some thought, ran a spoiler candidate who could siphon off votes from Roemer.

14 responses to “Louisiana’s Jungle Primary

  1. I think that the Jungle Primary an interesting way to go through the election process. On one hand, there are so many candidates that just take votes away from others, and the election process can take forever. However, it allows more people on he ballot, allowing people to show support for different candidates.

  2. Louisiana’s not the only state with a “jungle” primary; Washington State and California have them, but they hold their primaries months earlier, so that November 4 is in fact Election Day. Georgia also has a run-off if no candidate gets 50 per cent, though Democrats are increasingly hopeful that Michelle Nunn might reach that magic number. There’s virtually no chance that will happen in Louisiana.

    The answer to the deceptive voter registration numbers lie, in part, with Louisiana’s unique “jungle primary” system used in local, state and congressional elections, but not presidential elections. As in the presidential electoral system in France, all candidates for an office in Louisiana run at once without a separate party-specific primary. If any one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the election is over. If not, the top two face off in a runoff election a month later. Voters are not required to register with a party to participate in these elections, removing a main incentive for registering with either the Democrat or Republican parties.

  3. I don’t think the jungle primary should be used because sometimes you can have two people from the same party run against each other. In some states there might not even be a candidate from the other party. I don’t think its fair only one party can be represented.

  4. I believe that the “jungle primary” is a good idea even if two people from the same party can run against each other. I Think with something like this we have more of an idea of who would possibly be better to be in office.

  5. Tasneem Abdelmajid

    The jungle primary is a different way to go about an election. I think it makes an election really long and really stretched out because of the amount of candidates that are on a ballot. It can be a pain to have that many people on a ballot, some of which are from the same party. It is much simpler to just have one candidate represent a party. However, it also can attract more voters to show support for different candidates.

  6. I Like the idea of the jungle primary because say,for example; if you register to vote under the democratic party and your decide to change your mind to the republican party or another party, you can do so. Thus, its not limiting your choices on who you can vote for.

  7. I feel that a jungle primary is good because it puts more names on the ballets and lets peoples have more chooses. I also think it is kind of pointless when you have two of the same parties running against each other I mean for the most part a republican is the same as a republican.

  8. I feel like the jungle primary forces on the candidate more then the candidates party. Also, it give the voter more options to select from then just the people in the party. Another reason I believe the jungle primary is good is because there is two round system. With a two round system i believe the the best candidate would be selected.

  9. I do like the idea of having a jungle primary just because it gives the voter more options to decide who they want to be as governor. Its good because it has two rounds of deciding who will win. I don’t know if it would be good idea to have the same parties go up against each other when they believe in the same views.

  10. I think the jungle elections are an interesting way to do elections. It allows for many more candidates to have a chance. Also it makes the game tricky because there will be more people to take votes away from eachother. You really have to be the favorite to win.

  11. I like the idea behind the “jungle primary”. In my opinion it seems like a good way to assure that the best candidate has a better chance at winning regardless of their affiliations. I just think that having a second election in the case of close races is a little cheap. People who don’t care as much are probably far less likely to go vote a second time. I feel that that could make a second vote might be totally different than the first.

  12. Louisiana’s jungle party seems like a good way to elect people. You get a variety of candidates on the ballot and if you win by majority on the first election it is a bigger feat because the candidates are competing with more people. Although having two of the same party running against each other is not the best idea since a party can take more control of a easier before the election end rather than compete till the end with the opposite party affiliate

  13. The jungle primary seems like a good idea. It lets people have a bigger pool of candidates to choose. The only thing that i believe should be change is that if one person has a higher percentage they should win so that no more taxpayer money is used.

  14. i truely believe the Jungle Party would be a great concept to go with. with two candidates of the same party debating we can truely see the two debate with each other to see how they would resolve problems and how they would better fit the position,

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