The voters of Massachusetts have spoken and they do not like ranked choice voting. It was not even a particularly close outcome. Unfortunately the problem of crowded primaries remain. Whether the race to replace Joe Kennedy or the race to replace Robert DeLeo. Additionally, we know those 10 brave House Republicans who voted for impeachment will be facing tough primaries.
Tim Eagan reports in today’s Times from his own home state of Washington where 2 out of 3 of his states Republican members of Congress voted to impeach Donald Trump. Why? They were not just elected by partisan Republicans in a primary dominated by the far right. They were elected by all voters.
In other words, how can we save the Republican Party, now in the midst of a fight over its confused and darkened soul? Take it away from Republican Party activists and give it to the people. We already have a way to make it work.
Hear me out. In Washington, along with California, the top two vote-getters in a congressional primary, regardless of party affiliation, advance to the general election. Sometimes two Democrats make the final. Sometimes two Republicans. Often, it’s one of each, with partisan zealots left out.
In a top-two primary system, Herrera Beutler will almost certainly make the runoff, even if another Republican gets more Republican-leaning votes in the primary. But in the general, she’ll pick up independents and many Democrats, as she did in the past. She won by 13 percentage points last November, in a district that Trump carried by four points.
Removing the leverage to knock out Herrera Beutler in the primary allows her to be more accountable to her constituents than to her party. Little wonder that she’s also a memberof the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.
Eagan goes on to point out his proposal has flaws, there’s still the spoiler effect and the possibility a crowded field within one party could help a candidate in the other to advance to the runoff or even a general. The parties do not like this system since it adds uncertainty to their planning and makes these races less predictable and more expensive. To which I say, so what?
We need more sensible people in power. People in both parties who recognize climate change, value diversity in America, and commit to solving problems without bias. I even applaud the courage of Senator Romney, no longer running in a hyper partisan Republican presidential primary, proposing common sense family allowances that could easily pass with bipartisan support. We need more senators and reps like that, and fewer bomb throwers (literal and figurative) who view politics as a performative rather than collaborative process.
If Pablo wants to put this proposal on the ballot, count me in as his first signature. We tried it my way, maybe his way makes more sense for Massachusetts and the nation.