Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Report – The Problem with Partisan Primaries

Via Unite America –  a movement of Democrats, Republicans, and independents working to bridge the growing partisan divide and foster a more representative and functional government. Report – “Despite a record turnout in the 2020 general election, only 10% of eligible Americans nationwide cast ballots in primary elections that effectively decided the winners in a supermajority (83%) of Congressional seats.

Partisan primaries are the “Primary Problem” in our politics today.

  • Due to geographic self-sorting and partisan gerrymandering, 83% of congressional districts lean so Democratic or so Republican (“safe”) that the only election of consequence is the primary election.
  • As a result, in partisan primaries, a small minority of voters decide the vast majority of congressional elections — fueling political polarization and preventing problem-solving.

Partisan primaries disenfranchise voters.

  • In 2020, of the 361 “safe” congressional districts, 151 of the districts had no competition in the dominant-party primary, denying any voters a say in the outcome.
  • In partisan primaries in the remaining 210 “safe” districts, most voters in the non-dominant party effectively had no voice in choosing their representative.
  • And in 10 states, nearly 11 million independent voters were prohibited from participating in either party’s primaries altogether.
  • In total, only 23 million of America’s 235 million voters (10%) effectively elected 83% of Congress…”

See also The Atlantic – Party Primaries Must Go – Partisan primaries motivate legislators to keep in lockstep with a narrow and extreme slice of the electorate rather than govern in the public interest.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.