I've been an outspoken advocate FOR primaries since I began blogging lo' these many months ago. They are good for the system and they are good for the candidates. They allow voters to get a longer, more meaningful look at a candidate and his/her positions, and when primaries do not decend into all out inter-party bloodbath, they generally end up helping the winner of the primary. Matt Denn's primary for insurance commissioner, for example, allowed him to build up his name recognition and burnish off some rough edges prior to the general election race.
Party leaders don't like them because they can be expensive and leave a candidate in a lousy "cash-on-hand" position going into the general, but the party leaders work for us - we don't work for them.
In the end, primaries allow new blood to work it's way up through the ranks and provide a check against a clique of insiders taking a party over the ideological cliff. So primaries are a net good in a democracy.
Knowing that, which party is healthier? Which party truly represents the people and which is run by a cabal of insiders who can brook no opposition? Republican primaries set for this fall:
Democratic Party primaries set for this fall:
These numbers will probably change after the noon filing deadline, but I think this gives a good indication of which party is healthier.