Tag Archives: Closed Primary

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.

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Top 2 Elections

When California voters show up to the polls this November, they will have a limited number of choices at the ballot box for Governor, other statewide races, and races for US House.  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.  The Green, Libertarian, and Peace and Freedom Parties will not have a candidate in November’s statewide and national races 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?

Your Primary Choice

Nominating Conventions vs. Primaries

The following is the opening paragraph from a column written by the Washington Post Editorial Board dated May 20, 2013.

More than a quarter of Virginia’s electorate considers itself Republican, which translates to almost 1 million voters. Of that number, about 8,000 — less than 1 percent — showed up at the party’s convention in Richmond over the weekend to choose the GOP candidates in this November’s races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

As I have written before, most states have 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.

Why then would a state want to have a convention, which is more “closed” than a closed primary?

For more information about the Virginia Republican Party Convention, read this Washington Post column.

Your Primary Choice for Primary Elections

Why do you support the primary that you have chosen?