Saturday, April 20, 2013

Keep it at 60 Percent

The 60% works, allowing a shot of a challenger to eliminate an incumbent and yet requires a challenger to be a strong candidate. 

Based on the party released sheets since 2000 for state wide races or congressional races, At 60%, threshold to avoid a primary, 1/2 of contested races went to primary. If at 2/3 threshold to avoid a primary, 67% of contested races go to a primary and at 70% threshold to avoid a primary, 70% of the races go to primary. The last 2 numbers do not have to match, but they ended up doing so. 

They tracked 44 races, 14 of which were not contested for the nominee. We realize it is only 5 or 6 contested races difference, but when you are looking at 30 contested races, a change of 5 is 17%.

70% would not have helped Sen. Bennett in 2010. He was not in the top 2 coming out of convention. In fact the more moderate Tim Bridgewater was selected by 57% of the delegates in the last round. Mike Lee managed to get 43% and make it to a primary. Sen. Bennett endorsed Tim Bridgewater during the primary, but with voters ticked at TARP and ObamaCare, they went with Mike Lee.

Sen. Hatch just barely missed eliminating Dan Liljenquist by hitting just under the 60%
threshold to avoid a primary, and Jason Chaffetz just missed eliminating Chris Cannon by hitting just under 60% threshold to avoid a primary

Both races went to primaries. The 60% line works fine. Raising it decreases the chance of eliminating an incumbent, and we get weaker challengers. 

It was the caucus system that got Sen. Hatch, Sen. Bennett, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., Gov. Leavitt & Lt. Gov. Walker, etc. elected in the first place. The system is fine when they win, but if any of them lose, it is bad?  

The democrats in SLCo. just added an additional vote at the end of their conventions to see if they can avoid a primary. They have no interest in the initiative passing and have been vocal not to support it.

The current system does not protect the incumbent, wealthy or famous. We think that is a good thing.