Congratulations, California. We're No. 2

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California’s so-called jungle primary puts the top two finishers in statewide races into the general-election final, regardless of party affiliation. The idea was to encourage more moderate stances by politicians in areas where either Democrats or Republicans hold sway. But Zocalo Public Square columnist Joe Mathews says it hasn’t worked out that way. Instead of campaigns focused on issues and ideas, we’ve gotten mudslinging and character assassination. The open primary has also had the unintended effect of forcing people to choose between their favored candidate and the one who makes the most sense in the context of partisan politics.

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Joe Mathews