This article by Paul Mitchell highlights how Top Two has impacted California elections, as opposed to how it was supposed to effect elections. Mitchell sets out to separate myth from reality:
Much of this year’s legislative and congressional drama has focused on the decennial redistricting, but the greater impact could come from our seemingly annual attempt to change election systems in California.
Whether it is blanket primaries, open primaries, ranked-choice voting, or the new top-two primary election system, we appear to be unable to satisfy our appetite for election system changes.
With the constant shifts come myths and misperceptions about what it will all mean.
I have heard Sacramento insiders claim the system awards the victory outright to anyone who gets over 50 percent in the primary. Not true.
I have heard PAC directors say they are not going to spend money until November because none of these races will be decided in June. Not wise.
I’ve heard consultants retooling campaigns because Republicans will be voting for the best Democrat and Democrats will vote for the best Republican. An overstatement at best.
The Top Two primary system will allow all candidates to run on the same ballot, designating themselves as “preferring” a party or no party at all. Voters will be able to vote for anyone. And the top two candidates, no matter if one gets 99 percent and the other gets 1 percent, will go on to the General Election.
The article goes on to discuss specific races and distracts where the Top Two will change the dynamics from previous races.