When Proposition 14 was adopted by California voters in June 2010—the so-called blanket or open primary— it signaled an interest in moving away from strict partisanship —sort of.

Under this law, statewide and congressional candidates run against each other on the same ballot regardless of party affiliation. The top two vote-getters move on to the general election.

However, candidates must still have ballot designations according to their party registration. The presidential primary, judgeships and non-partisan offices are not affected.

In theory this was intended to promote greater competition. In practice, given the preponderance of Democratic voters in the state, the two candidates advancing to the November run-off are more likely to be Democrats.

In 2012, the first time the new system was employed, the general elections in eight congressional districts had two Democrats vying against each other and in two districts Republican opponents squared off. In 2014 the same ratios repeated themselves.

Given the way in which congressional districts are gerrymandered, depending upon which party holds power in the legislature, for 99% of incumbents these are safe havens.

That pattern does not appear likely to change in the immediate future especially with an unspoken hand-shake amongst party chieftains that if you leave my district alone, we won’t run opponents who could threaten yours.

Over time, if dissatisfied voters become increasingly unhappy with the major party nominees, strong candidates with less pronounced party-centric biases might look more attractive. At least that was the idea behind the open primary, though there is little evidence that is happening.

Since the end of Reconstruction in 1877 there have been a total of 30 U.S. Senators, 111 Representatives, and 28 Governors who were unaffiliated with a major party.

According to the Public Policy Institute, the state’s Democratic registrations in 2016 account for 44.8% of the total electorate—up 1% since 2012. Republicans come in with 27.3%–a drop of 2% in that period.

Independents have been increasing but only marginally with 23.3%, up from 20.9% in 2012

If party affiliation continues to lose sway, these numbers could change but probably not enough to alter the state-wide political equation which currently favors Democrats overwhelmingly.

On the national map, however, Californians of all political stripes have long lamented our inability to exert any influence in the presidential primaries held in June after most of the states have cast their votes.

In the 2016 primary it was a foregone conclusion that the people’s choices would be Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. That mattered little with the electoral votes pretty much sewn up.

Now the legislature is doing something about this with the introduction of Senate Bill 568 by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) that would move the primary date back to February.

This was tried in 2008 with negligible results when 21 other states not wanting to be outdone also voted on so-called Super Tuesday diluting California’s leverage as the most populous state.

In the inevitable brouhaha Iowa with its first-in-the-nation caucuses followed by New Hampshire will undoubtedly turn back their primary calendars to one-up California with other disgruntled smaller states following suit.

We might see the candidates more often, but this would only lengthen what many already consider an overly-long campaign season, would do little to encourage entrants with slim bankrolls, and could saddle candidates in progressive California with positions that might make them vulnerable in the general election.

Lara bill advocates argue it will increase voter turnout which dropped to a historically low 47.7 percent in last year’s primary. Indeed in our first experience with the open primary in 2008, 57.8 percent of registered voters participated, but that was a vigorously contested election.

Even so, this will have no bearing on presidential elections if California’s popular vote where Hillary Clinton bested Trump by over 4.2 million votes, (more than enough to claim the presidency) does not have equivalent weight in the outdated Electoral College.

Lara’s bill will do little to change California’s political math and nothing to increase its presidential clout.