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Post your opinions on the November races

Prop. 3 failure places California presidential primary in limbo

(AllPolitics, November 4) -- California voters may have hamstrung efforts by the nation's most populous state to gain more influence in deciding which candidates become presidential nominees.

Voters rejected Proposition 3, which would have closed primary elections, allowing voters to cast ballots only for candidates from their own party. There had been little campaigning about the ballot issue because both parties were focused on Senate and gubernatorial battles.

California primary

Both major parties have said they won't seat delegates chosen in open primaries. So the California primary could turn into a beauty contest without any real prizes of delegate weight at the political conventions where the parties choose their presidential nominees. In the past, California has sent about one-eighth of the delegates to both parties' nominating conventions.

The Democratic and Republican parties in California may have to turn to caucuses or conventions to achieve the delegate power in the presidential race.

Tuesday's vote is sure to be a disappointment for California Gov. Pete Wilson. He recently signed legislation moving up the state presidential primary from early summer to the second Tuesday in March in an effort to give California voters more say in picking presidential nominees. Wilson could be one of the candidates vying for the GOP nomination in 2000.

The old June date made California's primary somewhat of an afterthought, months after states such as New Hampshire and Iowa had pretty much decided who would make a run for the White House. California would then have to wait until November to flex its powerful 54 electorial votes to determine who would actually live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


Wednesday, November 4, 1998

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