FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016 file photo, Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, R-Oceanside speaks at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. Across televisions in Orange County, a flashy ad slams Chavez for supporting a California climate change program and a massive state budget. But it's not one of Chavez's Republican rivals excoriating him for siding with Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, it's Democrats. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli,File)

California's 'jungle primary' sets off party scrambling

June 01, 2018 - 12:38 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's "jungle primary" is setting off a scramble by both parties to ensure they're not left behind in Tuesday's contests.

The system sends the two highest vote-getters, regardless of party, to the general election. Neither Republicans nor Democrats are guaranteed a spot in every November race.

Democrats worry two Republicans could make the runoff in several U.S. House contests. Republicans are all but guaranteed to be locked out of the U.S. Senate contest and are fighting for a spot in the governor's race.

Some refer to the system adopted in 2010 as the "jungle primary" due to its free-for-all nature.

Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said it would encourage candidates to adopt more moderate positions rather than appeals to the party base.

But there's little evidence to show that's working widely.

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