Aug 09 2012

Four States Hold Primaries on August 7; Results Show Incumbents Far More Likely to Lose in Normal Partisan Primaries than in Top-Two Primaries

Source: Ballot Access News

Ballotpedia has analyzed the primary election returns from August 7. See here. In Kansas, 34% of all incumbent legislators running for re-election who had primary opponents were defeated. Kansas has closed primaries.

In Michigan, which has an open primary, 14% of all legislative incumbents running for re-election who had opponents were defeated. In Missouri, which also has an open primary, 23% of the legislative incumbents running for re-election who had opponents were defeated.

But in Washington state, which has a top-two primary, not a single legislative incumbent was defeated for re-election. These results confirm earlier research that no system is kinder to incumbents running for re-election than top-two systems. In California’s top-two primary in June this year, no incumbents were defeated. Thanks to Eric O’Keefe for the link.

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