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This might have worked as intended but it still is a pretty dickish way to elect or oust representatives.

Only if you believe in parties. Otherwise, an open election is perhaps the most non-dickish process possible: *Every* constituent gets to vote on who has a shot at representing them, not just those who (presumably) share the same political views as the candidate. If a party wants more control over who are its nominees, it should hold a convention. But if it chooses to hold a primary election instead, it should be open to all constituents ...

Regardless, here's an article that says the polling stats don't support the theory that Dems may have affected the outcome ...