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Barton Piece on the Problem with Primaries Published in American Purpose

January 12, 2023

American Purpose

Richard Barton

Richard Barton

"The Problem with Primaries," written by Richard Barton, assistant teaching professor of public administration and international affairs, was published in American Purpose.

"By eliminating partisan primaries, party leaders could liberate their party organization from the outsized influence of ideological activists and donors," says Barton.

"Voters could then rally around more representative candidates, who by that same token would be capable of winning over broad swaths of the electorate. This would reconstitute political parties as vehicles through which politicians win office by championing broadly popular ideas—which is exactly what leaders who care about the wellbeing of their party want. It’s also what voters who believe in democracy want: the incentivizing of a more pragmatic and representative politics," Barton says.

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