I hate open primaries. In a post a few years ago, I explained why, and I’ll repeat myself here:
The point of the primary system is to give citizens who are members of a specific political party the opportunity to pick that candidate who best represents their views. Then, in the Fall season, those cherry-picked party candidates get to go head-to-head, giving voters a genuine ideological choice. This is important even in states that tilt heavily in one direction or the other, because it means that, when voters are actually paying attention, they are exposed to more than just the majority party’s viewpoint.
In other words, if an Open Primary state tilts heavily in favor of one party or the other, the minority party isn’t just precluded from winning (and this holds true even if the majority party has some major scandal over the summer that causes its total collapse). . . it is also entirely denied a voice in the marketplace of political ideas. Without a candidate on the ballot, the minority party has no commercials, no debates, no opinion pieces, and no candidate interviews.
The one thing that didn’t occur to me when I wrote the list of horribles that result from open primaries was the possibility that, in the interim between the primary and the election, the formerly dominant party loses favor. As it is, that’s what’s slowly happening in this election: