California’s new ‘jungle’ primary could be tough for GOP candidates

June 3, 2012


California residents will go to the polls on Tuesday to vote in a new primary format that sends the top-two voter-getters – regardless of party – to the general election and threatens to squeeze GOP candidates.

Still the state GOP party says other factors have them optimistic about the upcoming results of the so-called “jungle primary.”

“I’m less concerned than I was six months ago,” said Tom Del Baccaro, chairman of the California Republican Party. “I don’t think there will be significant change. It’s going to be very close.”

Though 44 percent of state’s roughly 17 million voters are Democrats, compared to 30 percent for Republicans, Del Baccaro thinks that the weak state of the California and U.S. economies are going to be tough for President Obama and others on the Democratic ticket.

“I don’t see this as a good year for Democrats,” he told

Del Baccaro thinks two other factors also could help Republicans. One is the recent redistricting that has forced some incumbents to retire and leave open seats.

Another is races that pit incumbent Democrats against each other. And the more bruising and expensive Democrat-on-Democrat battles, particularly in races in more moderate districts, will leave the winner with little money to defeat a GOP candidate who reaches the general election, Del Baccaro said.

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