CITIZEN VOICES® Top two primary in NH?

Sep 05, 2017

For those voters worried about the partisan bickering that often accompanies an election, there's a partial solution: end the partisan primaries. Instead, the state could consider switching to a "Top 2" primary election, as the states of Washington and California have done. "Top 2" states eliminate the Republican and Democratic primaries in which the winner of each competes in November. Instead, the top two primary vote getters, irrespective of party affiliation, square off in the general election. Read more about this issue

"Should NH adopt a top two primary system?"

Top Two Primary NH Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 101 participants gave 248 responses.

A total of 75% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 25% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 101 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 248 responses or reactions to this question. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said

No: A strong majority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 72%, were against adopting a top two primary system in New Hampshire.

  • “No. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”
  • “How does this represent reform? The two candidates on whom the most money is spent with get the most votes. Same old same old.”
  • “Political parties should focus on nominating whomever they believe are most qualified to represent that party. A top-two primary system muddies that process.”

Yes: A minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 28%, were in favor of adopting a top two primary system in New Hampshire.

  •  “Yes… Let's treat all candidates equally on the ballot.”
  • “This lets folks vote for candidates, not parties.”
  • “In the primary you should be able to get a ballot with all names on it instead of being forced to select a party. There are a lot of us Independent voters out here too.”

Other: As noted above, 25% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:  

  • Expressing indecision: “It's an interesting idea that I think warrants further discussion.  I'd like to see a debate between informed proponents from either side.”
  • Campaign finance reform: “Elections need to get money out of politics, [and the] electoral process needs an overhaul. People know more about Kim Kardashian then any of the politicians.”
  • Other approaches: “I think NH would be a strong candidate for ranked-alternate voting.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question.


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