The Pros, Cons And Political Implications Of Texas Primaries
Candidates are already announcing 2022 runs for state-level offices and planning for the primaries. It's a 20-year-reality in Texas: If a candidate wins their primary race, they're going to win the general election.
Why do primary results have such an oversized impact on general election outcomes? What are the political implications?
What are the pros and cons of primary elections, and what reforms have been proposed?
According to the Secretary of States Office, nearly 8.4 million people voted in the general election for the 2018 midterm gubernatorial race, compared to the just over 2.5 million who voted in the two party primaries combined. More than 1.5 million of those votes were in the GOP primary.
If primaries matter more than the general election, why don’t more people vote in them? What can be done to encourage and enable individuals – especially those in marginalized groups – to participate in primary elections?
Texas is an open primary state, meaning people can vote in whichever primary they choose without having to declare their own party affiliation. Could Texas Democrats blunt Republicans' hold on the state by voting in GOP primaries, and vice versa? What are the pros and cons of this strategy?
What do we know so far about state-level declarations for 2022? What more can we expect to see in next year’s Texas primaries?
- Sherri Greenberg, professor of practice and fellow of the Max Sherman Chair in State and Local Government at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin; former member of the Texas House of Representatives (1991-2001)
- Brandon Rottinghaus, political science professor at the University of Houston and co-host of the "Party Politics" podcast
- Christopher Hooks, writer for Texas Monthly
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*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, July 14.