Why America’s Primary Election Model Doesn’t Yield the Candidates Voters Want

March 13, 2023


Now that Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy have thrown their hats in the ring, it seems every pundit from every news outlet has discovered that a large field of Republican nominees benefits ex-President Donald Trump. Of course it does. But is this a good thing or a bad thing for Republicans and for the country?

We can’t possibly know the answer to those questions. But we can acknowledge that Americans increasingly feel like our current primary system has been producing outcomes that do a poor job expressing desires of voters while doing a good job making our politics more acrimonious than ever. By understanding precisely why this is true, we can see our way toward improving the process in time for the upcoming presidential primaries.

David C. Rose is an economics professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a senior fellow at Common Sense Society.

Originally published in St. Louis Post Dispatch.

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