14 January 2012

Open Primaries Bleg

I was wondering if there was any way to figure out if open primaries were better than closed primaries.  I think any study that attempted to figure this out would have to compare the results of open primaries to the results of the nomination process and the presidential election.  The first thing to account for would be how well open primaries correlate to the eventual nomination (relative to closed primaries) and well open primaries correlate to presidential elections (again, relative to closed primaries).  This study would be limited to only those election years in which laws governing presidential election are the same as today’s, in terms of voting restrictions.

This sort of study would be helpful for determining party policy regarding whether to have open or closed primaries.  The theory behind open primaries is that they better select candidates with cross-party and independent appeal.  The theory behind closed primaries is that they minimize the possibility of sabotage (in that voters from another party aren’t able to vote for the weaker candidate).

I’m too lazy to do this research at this point in time, but I might get around to it eventually.  I think having this data would be useful in better predicting presidential elections, though I’m concerned that there isn’t enough data to ensure a large enough sample size.

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