A jungle primary is an election in which all candidates for elected office run in the same primary regardless of political party.
It’s also known as the blanket primary, open primary or top two primary, since the top two candidates who receive the most votes advance to the next round, similar to a runoff election.
However, in a jungle primary there is no separate nomination process for candidates before the first round, and parties cannot narrow the field. In fact, it is entirely possible that two candidates of the same party could advance to the second round. For this reason, it’s not surprising that the parties haven’t rushed to embrace jungle primaries because they ultimately reduce their power.
This voting system theoretically will elect more moderate candidates, as the victor may appeal to voters of both parties in a two-party system.
The use of jungle primaries has been controversial in some states. Critics argue that these systems can lead to confusion and confusion among voters, who may be unsure of how to cast their ballots.
In addition, some critics argue that jungle primaries can disadvantage candidates from smaller parties, who may not have the resources or support to compete against candidates from larger parties.
Examples of “jungle primary” in a sentence
- In a jungle primary system, all candidates run on the same ballot and the top two finishers advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.
- Critics of the jungle primary system argue that it can lead to two candidates from the same party facing off in the general election, depriving voters of a real choice.
- Proponents of the jungle primary system argue that it encourages candidates to appeal to a wider range of voters and promotes more moderate, centrist politics.