CALIFORNIA GOP SHOOTS SELF IN FOOT….FILM AT 11….California has a semi-open primary. Each party gets to decide whether its primary should be open or closed, and this year the Democratic primary is open while the Republican primary is closed. Democrats are licking their chops at the prospect:

“Republicans have made the serious, perhaps fatal, error of shutting independent voters out of their primary,” said Garry South, who was a top advisor to former Democratic Gov. Gray Davis. “The thing we know about independents is, when they choose to vote in a primary, they tend to stay with that party” in the general election.

Interesting, no? In the presidential race I don’t see how this will really make a difference, since even Republicans concede that California and its electoral votes will go Democratic this year regardless. But it might make a difference in one or two congressional close districts, couldn’t it? Or at the local level? And certainly in the long term it could alienate even more independents from the GOP and increase Democratic control of the state legislature. The California Republican Party, with its usual genius for snatching defeat from the jaws of whatever it had before, may be letting a dedication to purity consign it to the ash heap of history.

(On the merits, by the way, I think the Republicans are right: if you want to vote in a party’s primary, you should belong to the party. But whoever won on the merits?)

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