The top-two primary results in Benton and surrounding counties is hardly a "test" of the top-two policy, mainly because the incumbent hid his retirement plans until six months before the primary which sent every wanna-be congressional rep scrambling ... giving a clear edge to those with name recognition, etc.! The other factor influencing the outcome is the fact that our district is so top heavy with GOPers, that it really was a foregone conclusion that two GOPers would be battling for the open seat. Thus it was no surprise that a fringe rightie and a moderate GOPer (trying to cloak himself as a strong conservative) ended up on the Nov. ballot.
The Democrats and Indies could muster only a handful of votes against the unbalanced voting block. I suspect that the top-two system always will fail to achieve a one person/one vote balance because we left with only two candidates to choose from! And when an area is as lopsided as the 4th District ... it's an outright landslide.
If Didier would have run as a fringe tea partier, Independent, Constitutionalist, Fundamentalist, etc., where he really belongs, Newhouse would have won the primary hands down. The sad reality now is that thanks to the top-two system, we're going to have to endure Palin-esque, Ted Nugent-types and NRAers traipse across our district pumping money into our media to buy your vote with their brand entertainment passing as politics! What a circus it may be!
-- PHIL CHURCH, West Richland