Read about the impacts of Washington State’s implementation of top-two nonpartisan primaries.
Matt Germer and Ryan Williamson of the R Street Report authored a report analyzing the impacts of Washington State’s implementation of top-two nonpartisan primaries. They find that Top Two in Washington has opened up the most consequential elections to all voters, which, in turn, has incentivized candidates to appeal to a greater cross-section of the electorate (and not just their party’s base). At the same time, however, they note that with just two candidates advancing to the general election, some voters do not always have a candidate on their ballot who closely reflects their views. Ultimately, Germer and Williamson conclude that Top Two has given Washingtonians more power than they had in a partisan primary system, but they argue the state could improve its system by adopting something closer to Alaska’s top-four system with instant runoff general elections.