So why are politics so polarized now? One reason is that primaries are loaded with candidates. Moderate ones can cancel each other out while fringe right or left wingers end up with a minority of voters but more than any individual moderate candidate.
Proportion voting turns this system on it's head. Alaska is the first state to try it.
Freakonomics podcast discussing ways to make voting work better(great).
Alaska's Unprecedented Election
More than four dozen candidates—including former Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and a North Pole councilman named Santa Claus—are vying for a single US House seat in Alaska's special primary election. It's the first all-mail election in the state's history, with ballot submissions due today.
The top four of the 48 total candidates will advance to the state's special general election in August, as contenders compete to serve the remainder of Republican Rep. Don Young's (At-large) term through January. Young died in March after serving 49 years in Congress.
In a new ranked-choice voting system adopted in 2020 (see 101), Alaskan voters can pick and rank four of their preferences from a single mail-in ballot that lists all the candidates, regardless of party affiliation. In contrast, most states follow a partisan primary, where each party has the chance to choose a nominee for the general election.