Switch to approval (aka "multi-choice" voting) and the need for tweaks that mitigate burial and vote splitting issues go away. I think most if not all the crazy stuff that you see in primaries evolved from various moronic attempts to fix plurality.
Plurality always slowly degenerates into dysfunction. Try it with a bunch of friends. Use single choice to decide where to go for dinner. It might work once or twice but most of the time it will not yield the "winner" that makes the most people happy. Then switch to approval (which actually most people would intuitively use anyway). The result might not be perfect but it won't be pathologically wrong most of the time.
By the by, IRV is *worse* than single choice. This is one of those cases where intuition leads you astray. Also don't waste our time with range voting. Burial is a major source of voting dysfunction and a 0-1 range (approval) is far less vulnerable to burial than a 0-10 range (for example).