The promise of primary reform, including California’s new jungle primary law, was that it would lead to more moderation in politics. Widen the electorate in primary elections beyond all those nasty partisans, the reformers told us, and those elected would be more responsive to a broader range of views.
Richard Winger at Ballot Access News uses the House Republican vote on the fiscal cliff bargain to test that promise. His conclusion? “When one breaks down the list of Republicans who had been re-elected in November 2012, one finds that Republican members from closed primary states were far more likely to vote for the bill than Republicans from states with more open primaries,” including California’s undemocratic new system.
That doesn’t count as definitive evidence, but it’s a reminder that we are still waiting for the reformers to show us any evidence that the changes they pimped have had any benefit at all.