Ranked choice voting or instant runoff voting (IRV) ends the ‘spoiler’ problem for small/third parties in a two-party system but I’m not sure it 100% ends the splitting the vote problem in a race like the 4th district Illinois Democratic primary. Ramirez-Rosa’s vote count would probably be higher with IRV but more than that I think is speculation since we don’t (or at least I don’t) have a sense of what district voters’ first, second, third choices/preferences would be. Some people might put the centrist first, Ramirez-Rosa second, Garcia third, and so on in what we as hard-headed politicos would view as weird or politically nonsensical combinations (progressive voters might choose RR first, Garcia second, centrist third but I doubt the majority of Democratic voters there are seasoned progressives). We need more data I think before drawing hard and fast conclusions about how IRV would’ve affected the race.

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