A coin flip could decide your next elected official. Some Democrats are wringing their hands over the logjam of their candidates — 25 so far — challenging Orange County’s four Republican Congress members. One worry is draining Democratic money in the primary that will be crucial in the general election against Republicans. Another is the possibility that too many Democratic candidates could lead to vote-splitting among Democrats, allowing two Republicans to advance out of the top-two primary to the general election. But a reader presented another intriguing — if unlikely — scenario last week: What if the GOP incumbent finishes first and two Democrats tie for second? The state’s open primary system calls for the top two vote-getters to advance to the general election, regardless of party … unless there’s a tie for second. Then the top three vote-getters appear on the November ballot.
In Orange County’s GOP congressional races, that could be good news for Republicans: GOP incumbents are expected to easily finish first in the primary, with Democrats likely to be battling for the second spot. If there are two Democrats and one Republican on the November ballot, Democrats’ voting splitting will likely give the Republican a big advantage.
But wait, there’s more. Things get particularly interesting if there’s a tie in the general election.
If that tie occurs in the race for governor or lieutenant governor, the state Legislature will vote to determine the winner.