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Will California’s “Jungle Primary” system rescue Republicans this November?

Will California’s “Jungle Primary” system rescue Republicans this November?

Blue Wave may not be as blue as initially promised.

Earlier this week, my colleague Mary Chastain reported that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is pouring money into key districts in southern California.

The Democrats are counting on taking seven seats in deep blue California to help get them to the 23 seats needed to win to take back the House of Representatives from the Republicans.  After a Democrat-majority House takes over in January, then it’s time for impeachment of President Donald Trump.

However, a new analysis by The New York Times indicates that the “Jungle Primary” system in California may offer cover for Republicans this November.  It turns out that there are so many Democrats clamoring to be on the ballot that it is splintering the votes between many progressive hopefuls.

Meanwhile, Republicans are coalescing behind candidates with messages that actually appeal to the base.

With so many Democrats running, the party’s fear is that the vote will be splintered, allowing Republicans — who have fewer candidates — to dominate some primaries. The party and allied groups are spending more than $4 million on just three campaigns, intervening in one contest to prop up a favored candidate; attacking a Republican from the right in another; and even reminding people not to waste their votes on “ghost candidates” who have dropped out yet remain on the ballot.

As any progressive activist will explain through gnashed teeth, the head-snapping scramble is because of the state’s “top two” open primary system, which allows the two leading vote-getters — regardless of political parties — to advance to the general election.

…“It’s a disaster,” Gail Reisman, a retired gerontologist and Toronto native who lives in Representative Dana Rohrabacher’s district, said after attending a candidate forum Tuesday. “If we have two Republicans running I think I’m going back to Canada.”

How bad is it? Recent elections have resulted in situations in which June’s primary field has been whittled down to 2 Democrats for the November vote. And Democrats and their media minions have been thrilled with that.

Fast forward to today: Between reduced Republican choices, GOP voters angry at Sacramento policies, and an effective President, the Blue Wave isn’t as blue as initially promised.

The Los Angles Times is now questioning whether the “Jungle Primary” system should remain, which tells you how worried the Democrat’s media minions are.

As California hurtles toward its state primary June 5, it is obvious there’s a problem. Its open primary system — which sends the top two vote-getters to the general election, regardless of party affiliation — is not working as intended and risks throwing the midterm election into acrimony and confusion. This system is called a “jungle primary” for a reason: It is brutal and unpredictable. In three high-profile House races, there are so many candidates from the two major parties eating into one another’s support that the election results may end up owing more to chance than any discernible will of the people.

Polls show that Democrats have an excellent chance of capturing the Southern Californian seats being vacated by Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and Darrell Issa (R-Isla Vista) and have a good shot at unseating Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach). These are all bona fide swing districts that surely deserve an up-and-down contest between a Republican and a Democrat in November.

But there is no guarantee this is what the voters will get. The biggest risk in all three districts is that the Democrats will fall victim to their own energy and enthusiasm and that, even if their candidates collectively win over 50% of the vote, they will be too split to secure either of the top two slots.

I would also like to stress that the state’s independent conservatives and Republicans are highly motivated to vote in both the primary and general elections. The Sanctuary State Laws, MS-13 #FakeNews drama, “free healthcare” for illegal immigrants, and a “Trumpian” economy are inspiring a lot more fight in the conservative grassroots voters than has been seen in recent election cycles.

In conclusion, the final ballot in November may be redder than anticipated when Sacramento sold the “Jungle Primary” system to Californians. Hubris, meet Nike.


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I think you meant, “Hubris, meet Nemesis.”

    No.Nike is Victory.

      No college for me so Nike means shoes 😛

      Here’s some off the wall collitch trivia. The Nike Ajax was the world’s first widely deployed surface to air missile, designed to be the last line of defense against Russian high altitude bombers.

      It was named after Nike, the goddess of victory and Ajax, 2nd only to Achilles as the mightiest Greek hero in the Trojan War.

      Apparently, the lefties in La La Land have gifted themselves with their very own Trojan Horse.

        tom_swift in reply to bear. | May 27, 2018 at 1:49 am

        If they’d named it after the other Ajax at Troy, the Locrian Ajax (a.k.a. the lesser Ajax), they might have saved some money.

        Rick in reply to bear. | May 27, 2018 at 3:42 pm

        In 1957-58 my dad commanded the Nike anti-aircraft battalion whose mission was to protect the Niagara Falls power-generating facilities.
        We lived at Ft. Niagara, at the very tip of where the Niagara River flowed into Lake Ontario. It was a magnificent place to live. Those were happy days.

          Rick in reply to Rick. | May 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm

          Wrong. It was a traditional anti-aircraft battalion, which was in the process of being switched over to Nike.

Bucky Barkingham | May 27, 2018 at 7:33 am

If there are districts where only 2 deplorable Republicans make the General Election the Leftists will sue to overturn the law. They will of course find a friendly Leftist judge who agrees with them. The law of unintended consequences at work.

    IMHO the jungle primary- with no option in the general of writing in a candidate of your choice- violates the constitutional guarantee that each state shall have a republican form of government. And you’re right that it will take 2 Republicans on the ballot instead of 2 Democrats for courts to decide the jungle primary system is unconstitutional.

      Milhouse in reply to gospace. | May 27, 2018 at 6:19 pm

      Bullshit. As usual. There is nothing in the nature of a republican form of government that requires the availability of write-ins. I believe this is the only country in the world that even has such a concept.

      What CA has now is the same two-round voting system that LA, France, and several other places have. Anyone can run in round 1, and the top two candidates progress to round 2. Just like when Macron and Le Pen squeezed out all the other candidates, and voters had to choose between them. Allowing write-ins would have destroyed the whole point of round 2, which is to make sure the winner is elected by the majority.

      Our constitution does not recognize the existence of political parties; they are purely private organizations, so why should the laws be twisted and manipulated to guarantee that the two largest will have a candidate each in the final round? If the political parties want to unify around one candidate they can always hold their own nomination process, at their own expense, before round 1 of the official election.

I live in CA. Voting here sucks. Ya can’t believe anything … not candidates … not reports on issues … not budget evaluation of bills. Special interests are the order of the day. Money you voted for is used for other things. You’re asked to vote for money to fix the same problem over and over. You’re asked to vote for people you’ve never heard of based on a paragraph in the voter pamphlet. If you’re conservative in any way just plain flat forget about voting for anyone that holds office because your vote is meaningless here.

teripittman | May 28, 2018 at 10:30 am

WA state has the same system. It is an attempt to disenfranchise conservative voters. You can tell that from that one comment. It’s acceptable for voters to have to choose between two Democrats but not two Republicans. Someone should challenge these laws.

    Milhouse in reply to teripittman. | May 28, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    I didn’t see anyone quoted as saying it’s unacceptable to have the final choice come down to two Republicans. The only comment I see is from the former Canadian who calls that prospect a “disaster”, which, to Democrats, it would be. Just like any Republican victory is a disaster to them, or any Democrat victor is to us. That doesn’t make either outcome unacceptable.