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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Thoughts on Top Two

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional politics as well as the presidential race.

The following results in the California primary reflect totals as of 7 AM on Wednesday.

Governor
  • Newsom 33.3%
  • Cox 26.2%
  • Villaraigosa 13.5%
Senator
  • Feinstein 43.8%
  • deLeon 11.3%
House Seats: Seven districts in California have Republican incumbents but voted for Clinton in 2016. Democrats are hoping to take these seats in 2018, but they worried that the top-two primary might result in all-Republican contests in some of them. But it appears that Democrats will be on the November ballot in all seven. In the 10th District (Denham), a Democrat is in second place by a small margin.

In most races, top-two produced the same result as a closed primary:  a Republican and a Democrat. Contrary to the hopes of supporters of the procedure, it usually did not lead to the nomination of more centrists.  Villaraigosa was to the right of Newsom, but he had little appeal to Republicans and moderate independents.




Top-two did not generally change outcomes, but it did change tactics.