Commentary: Close the Primaries in Tennessee for a Strong Two-Party System

by Tracy Miller, PhD


Williamson County Republican Party released a Resolution to Close the Primaries in the state of Tennessee late last week.  But why?  Isn’t it better to let Democrats help decide which Republican they like most or (perhaps) hate least? Recently, screen shots have been flying around where people admit that in order to get elected they have to slap an “R” in front of their names.  Hang out at the polling stations and you often can hear groups of Democrats mumbling about holding their nose and voting for this or that Republican candidate – the one who is most like a Democrat or the one who has the least chance of winning.

This is especially true for the primaries – think NFL draft where we try to assemble the Republican lineup for the upcoming season.   No harm in letting the Patriots or the Texans help us choose our players, right?  After all, some of our opponents are often friends and all-around good sports.  Maybe a few extra Monday morning quarterbacks or opposition party coordinators can help, right?

Wrong.  Enough of the comedy.  All an open primary does is allow the powerful to remain in power – because they can make a few calls and bring in opposition votes for the promise of favors delivered later.  According to Representative Glen Casada, “This is the kind of important legislation that we all need to get behind to keep our primary system protected.”





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5 Thoughts to “Commentary: Close the Primaries in Tennessee for a Strong Two-Party System”

  1. lb

    I have been saying this since we moved her 11 yrs ago. Also, if you reg as R in general, you MUST vote as R in primary–that will help too

  2. Cannoneer2

    While we are creating a better election process here in Tennessee, lets make third party access to the ballot easier as well.

  3. Stuart I. Anderson

    It’s no good to just shake your head up and down and silently agree fellow conservatives. Open primaries are the single greatest institutional obstacle to conservative candidates winning election so it is imperative that you contact your state senator and representative and ask them to vote for SB0772/HB0887.

  4. Martha Brown

    Another problem is that people waltz in and vote in one primary for local candidates in May and then waltz in and vote in a different party primary in August. We also need to stop voting so often and set all of these votes for the same time. That way, any one voter would have to vote in only one party primary for all races. It would probably save enough money given all the early voting to buy updated and more secure machines. As it is, we have full time voting.

  5. 83ragtop50

    Tis probably makes to mush sense to happen in Tennessee.