Friday, November 16, 2012

The New California: Top Two Open Primary Promotes Competitive Elections

California's New Electoral Reforms: The Fall Election (Eric McGhee and Daniel Krimm, Public Policy Institute of California)

Races were more competitive than in recent years, especially for Congress.
The new redistricting plans created more districts that were potentially competitive between the two major parties. Among races between candidates of opposing parties, 18% had a margin of victory of less than 10 points, up sharply from the 7% average of the last 10 years. The top-two primary also created more competition. All but one of the 28 same-party races occurred in districts that were unlikely to have hosted competitive races in the past. Roughly one-third of those races were decided by less than 10 points. This increased competition led to some increase in fundraising compared to the average over the last five election cycles: up $136,518 per candidate for the state Senate and $134,954 for the U.S. House, though down somewhat (-$103,780) for the Assembly. By comparison, the average House race received less money in the nation as a whole this year ($428,842 in 2012 vs. $459,085 from 2002 through 2010). Read more

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