Tag Archives: General Political Science

American National Government

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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American National Government

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