Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Open primaries do little to encourage candidate moderation

McGhee, Eric (2014) Open primaries do little to encourage candidate moderation. LSE American Politics and Policy (29 Jul 2014). Website.

PDF - Published Version
Download (141kB) | Preview


Many blame the ongoing polarization of Congress on the system of primary election that often rewards the most extreme candidates on either side. But are “open” primaries, where more than just regular partisans can participate the solution to this polarization? Using data from two decades of state-level experimentation with primary laws, Eric McGhee finds that primary races that are “pure closed” can actually result in candidates that are slightly closer together ideologically than those that are “pure open”. Despite this, California has found some success with open primaries increasing moderation among party nominees, and it may well signal the conditions for success.

Item Type: Online resource (Website)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The Author
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2014 09:55
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 19:19

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics