On February 13, Montana Cowgirl blog posted this article about HB 436, the Montana bill to convert elections to a top-two open primary system. Montana Cowgirl is well-known, leans to Democrats, and is run by an anonymous individual or group. The article takes the tack that the Montana bill exists to keep Libertarian Party candidates off the November ballot.
In every state in which top-two advocates have been active, the rationale for the system is different. The idea was born in Louisiana to keep conservative Democrats in power. Then it was created in Washington state on the theory that the top-two open primary would be a substitute for the blanket primary (which had been invalidated in court on freedom of association grounds). It was promoted in California on the grounds that it would injure “extreme left” Democrats and “extreme right” Republicans. The Arizona top-two was promoted as a way to decrease the power of conservative Republicans. Now the story about the Montana effort seems to be that it will help Republicans win. Thanks to Rob Richie for the link.