John Myers for LAT:
Gamesmanship was everywhere. Could a feared opponent be shut out of a spot on the fall ballot? Might a political party’s leaders convince some hopefuls in crowded races to step aside and thus avoid splitting the vote?
In the end — either because of those efforts or in spite of them — the playing field looked very much like a traditional primary. Unofficial returns Tuesday showed that only two statewide races, at most, will end up as a same-party showdown in November. Otherwise, and in the overwhelming majority of California’s races, the two-party system seems to have survived.
The candidates who succeeded were largely staunch defenders of either liberal or conservative principles — moderation was not the big winner in California on election night.
And yet backers of the top-two primary, who in 2010 took a wrecking ball to the idea that spots on the November ballot should be reserved by political party, seemed to envision consensus-building candidates who could bridge the partisan divide.
“This primary would certainly cast some doubt on that idea,” said Eric McGhee, a researcher at the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.