The anti-incumbent fever was scarcely evident in California’s open primary held yesterday. Democratic U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has been in office since 1992, easily defeated all 23 of her primary challengers. Yes, all 23. The sizeable field of candidates seeking to replace Feinstein was due in large part to California’s new “top two” open primary system. This new system lists all candidates, regardless of party, on the same ballot, and the top two vote getters then move forward to a runoff in the November general.
Senator Feinstein secured 49.3% of the total votes cast, enjoying a wide lead over her GOP challenger Elizabeth Emken who came in second with only 12.5% of the total vote. The two will now faceoff in November’s general election.
Leading up to yesterday’s election, political pundits talked of a possible matchup between Feinstein and Orly Taitz, an Orange County Republican best known for her “birther” claims against President Barack Obama.