logo

What Exactly is an NPP Candidate and Could Two Reach the November General Election in CA?

image
Author: Jeff Powers
Created: 05 May, 2018
Updated: 21 November, 2022
4 min read

For the first time in California's history, a No Party Preference candidate(s) has a real opportunity to reach the November General election.

The possibility of one or more independents getting to November could fundamentally change California politics and the way campaigns are run. That this is even possible is evidence of the profound impact California’s Nonpartisan Top Two reform has had.

What Does This Mean For A Representative Government?

Of the Parties, By the Parties and For the Parties.

The American political system is currently controlled by two private corporations. If an NPP breaks through, it will no doubt be a shock to the system and assuredly be viewed by reformers as a win for Democracy and Representative Government.

If an NPP candidate wins in California, it may signal that the voters are once again in control of elections, and send a powerful message to the rest of the nation, that the days of the two party system could be numbered.

What Exactly is a No Party Preference (NPP) candidate?

An NPP candidate is always an independent, but no two NPP candidates are alike and none are beholden to the establishment.

As we have seen from the newest registration numbers, NPP voters are about to become the second largest bloc in the Golden State as it is the fastest-growing political “party” in California, it’s becoming cool to be nonpartisan or NPP.

And while that may be true, running as an NPP candidate isn’t easy. Unlike Democrats and Republicans who start with a base of support, NPP candidates have to build their base, which takes time and can be very expensive.

But if a candidate is able to break through, it could carry a multiplier political effect, showing just how tired voters are of two party politics. How tired? In a recent USA Today national poll, “Nearly two-thirds of adult U.S. citizens will stay away from the polls during the coming midterm elections, and they say they have given up on the political parties and a system that they say is beyond reform and repair. A majority of those non-voters would like to see a third party or multiple parties.”

IVP Existence Banner

Could Two NPP Candidates Win in CA?

This June, California voters will get the opportunity to select NPP candidates in a number of races. If those NPP candidates finish in the Top Two, they will square off with a single opponent in the November General Election.

Statewide, there are two NPP candidates generating significant attention:

  1. Lt. Governor Candidate Gayle McLaughlin. McLaughlin, a former Democrat, was endorsed by Bernie Sanders.
  2. Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. Poizner, a former Republican, was just endorsed by the San Francisco Chronicle.

McLaughlin and Poizner are unbound from political parties which gives them freedom to choose the positions that make sense to them and NPP voters and that makes their candidacy inherently attractive to people, not parties. If they are elected, many observers believe it will create a healthier Democracy.

Just remember, all NPPs are not alike, but ALL are independent.

Explaining California's Top Two NonPartisan Primary

Did you know in 2010, California voters decided to get rid of party primaries altogether. The goal was to bring the power back to the voters, and for the most part, it has.

The Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act, requires all candidates for a voter-nominated office be listed on the same ballot. The two candidates receiving the most votes—regardless of party preference—move on to the general election regardless of vote totals.

Political experts have said, the NonPartisan Primary has removed the echo chamber where candidates are beholden to their party leadership and forced them to appeal beyond the echo chamber of their own parties and appeal to a larger voter base.

This change has brought significant opportunities:

IVP Existence Banner

Competitive elections. California elections are arguably the most competitive in the nation, as incumbents don't typically perform as well as other states.

District Uncertainty.  The nonpartisan nature of Top Two has created competition in districts where one major party holds a significant advantage over the other.

Equal participation for all votersBefore Top Two, nearly 80% of California’s legislative and Congressional races were decided in the primary. This discouraged participation from voters not associated with the majority party of their district. Now, all voters have full access to both the first and final round of the election process.

Some believe that the transformative impact of Top Two in California can serve as a blueprint for others looking to reduce legislative dysfunction and voter disengagement.

Latest articles

Glenn Youngkin
The Irony of Gov. Glenn Youngkin Vetoing a Ranked Choice Voting Bill
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has said no to a bill that would clarify how ranked choice voting (RCV) is supposed to work in local elections -- which is odd considering the only reason Youngkin is governor is because of a RCV nomination process at the 2021 Virginia GOP convention. ...
12 April, 2024
-
3 min read
Trump and Biden Debate
If Trump or Biden Don't Want to Debate, Give The Stage to Someone Else
Major national news outlets reportedly are drafting an open letter to President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump's campaigns urging them to debate this fall. Biden has threatened not to debate at all, and Trump doesn't have a solid track record committing to debates....
10 April, 2024
-
3 min read
Electoral College
The Electoral College Reform the Nation Needs is Not What Either Party Wants
Nebraska is one of only two states that has a system that awards its Electoral College votes based on the popular vote in each of its congressional districts. However, there is a contingent of state lawmakers who want to change this with the support of former President Donald Trump....
08 April, 2024
-
11 min read
Joe Biden
Biden's Problem with Independents: His Party Is Constantly Insulting Them
Biden is connected to the Democratic Party. In fact, he is the Democratic Party. And there is no organization more oblivious to how it ignores and disrespects independent voters than the Democratic Party....
07 April, 2024
-
4 min read
ballot
New Campaign Launches to Ease Panic over Elections that Go Into 'Overtime'
The worse political polarization gets, the more anxiety people feel over close elections. Accusations surface about rigged processes, frustration builds when results aren't called on Election Night, threats against election workers surface, and errors in reporting are made....
07 April, 2024
-
2 min read
missouri state capitol
The Missouri Resolution Designed to Sucker Voters into Banning Ranked Choice Voting
There is a resolution in the Missouri Legislature that if approved by voters would ban the use of ranked choice voting (RCV). However, RCV isn't the sole subject. There is another provision meant to trick voters into supporting it. ...
05 April, 2024
-
4 min read