The Primaries Aren't Rigged, But the Two-Party System Is

For the last several months, two storylines about the presidential election have begun to emerge. The first is that both the Democratic and Republican Party are in crisis. This is a surprisingly common theme that we hear every election cycle as alleged outsider candidates, such as Jerry Brown, Ron Paul and even the 2000 version of John McCain, gain more traction among voters than party insiders expect, when third party candidates like Ross Perot do well, or when fractures within the parties are exposed through nasty primaries. The second story is much more specific to 2016 and is the notion that the election system is somehow rigged. As might be expected, this idea has been most aggressively promoted by supporters of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who ultimately failed to convert great enthusiasm into a majority of pledged delegates. It is also notable that this idea has also been raised several times by Donald Trump despite the relative ease with which he dispatched all 16 of his GOP primary opponents.