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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Top Two and the California Senate Race

In the 2012 "top two" primary for California's Democratic-leaning 31st congressional district, a split among Democrats enabled two Republicans to advance to the fall election. 

At Powerline, Steve Hayward proposes an unlikely -- but not impossible -- replay of this scenario in the 2016 California Senate race:
Assume a crowded Democratic field with several good, well-funded candidates. Assume Republicans could rally around just two really good candidates. Suppose a large and divided Democratic field left the two Republicans as the top vote getters in the primary. Could Republicans plausibly sneak away with California’s Senate seat by exploiting this ill-thought “good government” jungle primary reform?
It is worth pondering. It is hard to clear a primary field for national offices like the Senate because political ambition is overweening, but it would be fun to watch the liberal panic if it came about. GOP party elders in California, if there are such, should think strategically about this.
P.S. Or, if Republicans really want to be clever, they won’t run a candidate at all, but would instead back Mickey Kaus in the Democratic field. Wouldn’t that be fun.