Could the structure of elections in the US be feeding the polarization in modern politics? Currently only about twenty percent of voters show up to the polls for what are often closed primaries, meaning that the general election is often a showdown between candidates who have appealed to the most extreme elements of their party’s base. This is far from an optimal outcome in a country where few voters identify with political extremes.
Most voting experts believe that the way to reduce the influence of the most extreme voices in our political system would be through open primaries in which voters can choose any candidate regardless of party affiliation. This system would favor candidates who speak to a broader swath of the American public and give voters a more representative general election ballot.
In this episode, Bob welcomes back to the show his former Political Statistics Professor, Dr. Scott Huffmon, to discuss Rank choice voting and the 2022 election primaries. Dr. Huffmon is a professor of political science as well as the founder and director of the Center for Public Opinion & Policy Research (CPOPR) at Winthrop. Dr. Huffmon also directs the Winthrop Poll initiative, which is the most important poll focusing on the south. You can follow him on twitter at @HuffmonPolitics.
This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.