If you’re a Democrat, you should be absolutely outraged, incensed, and weeping with frustration at the prospect of tens of thousands of Republican voters entering your primaries in order to support the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.
These GOP pranksters are not voting for Clinton because someone put something in the water thus turning them from being rabid dog Clinton haters into slavish Hillary bots. Rather they are trying to keep Barack Obama from winning the nomination believing that Hillary will be easier to beat than the charismatic Obama.
For myself, I’m not so sure. My own guess is that Obama is going to be damaged goods by the middle of summer thanks to his relationships with Tony Rezko and his crooked cronies. He would be a much easier general election target for McCain who will be seen as a paragon of virtue next to Obama.
Regardless, Rush Limbaugh has been pushing this campaign for Republicans to game the system and vote for Hillary in Democratic primaries. What’s even worse for Democrats is that it seems to be working:
I have to say, I’m mystified by the large number of Republicans turning up in the Mississippi Democratic primary to vote for Hillary. They more than doubled their share of the 2004 Democratic primary, up to 13%. They were among Clinton’s best demographics groups—she won 75% of Republicans—and made up a significant portion of her overall support.
Typically, it’s been the reverse: Republicans in the North turned out for Obama. And it’s certainly contrary to conventional wisdom that Southern Republicans bear special fondness for Hillary.
I’ll be interested in what the local press has to say about this. I don’t have a clear grasp of Mississippi’s traditions in crossing party lines, and there was no real GOP contest here, which may have increased the numbers.
There are smart people who think this is strategic voting, aimed at producing the weaker candidate—something Rush Limbaugh, in particular, has gleefully espoused.
This is a fun theory, but before it takes root, a couple of notes of skepticism. First, this is all based on quite small samples in exit polls.
Second, Rush wasn’t campaigning for Hillary in Mississippi.
Are you trying to tell me that 13% of Republicans in the state of Mississippi worship and adore Hillary Clinton? Are you nuts?
The Jed Report has an interesting breakdown showing the impact of GOP voters on Texas
As the number of Republicans in the primary has increased, Hillary Clinton’s share of the Republican vote has skyrocketed, going from a 69-31 deficit in January and February to a whopping 75-25 lead in Mississippi. Although Barack Obama’s share of the Republican vote declined, his absolute percentage did not change much, hovering around 3-4%. In other words, he was simply winning a smaller percentage of a larger pie.
In the abstract, there’s nothing wrong with receiving votes from Republicans in the Democratic primary—as long as those votes come from Republicans who are truly committed to a Democratic candidate. That appears to be the case with Barack Obama, who consistently does well among Republicans and independents in public opinion surveys.
Hillary Clinton’s support from Republicans, on the other hand, is coming from Republicans who will not support her in the general election. They are simply wreaking havoc in the Democratic primary, hoping to further divide an already divided party, and perhaps even help Hillary Clinton win the nomination.
How likely is it that these voters are Republican mischief makers and not true blue Hillaryites? Check the sun this evening. If it sets in the west, there’s a pretty good chance that there are tens of thousands of Republicans who are getting a huge kick out of throwing a monkey wrench into the Democratic primary process.
Dirty play? What, in this campaign? You’re kidding right? I give you Kos himself on the eve of the Michigan Republican primary:
Next Tuesday, January 15th, Michigan will hold its primary. Michigan Democrats should vote for Mitt Romney, because if Mitt wins, Democrats win. How so?
For Michigan Democrats, the Democratic primary is meaningless since the DNC stripped the state of all its delegates (at least temporarily) for violating party rules. Hillary Clinton is alone on the ballot.
But on the GOP side, this primary will be fiercely contested. John McCain is currently enjoying the afterglow of media love since his New Hamsphire victory, while Iowa winner Mike Huckabee is poised to do well in South Carolina.
Meanwhile, poor Mitt Romney, whoâ€™s suffered back-to-back losses in the last week, desperately needs to win Michigan in order to keep his campaign afloat. Bottom line, if Romney loses Michigan, he’s out. If he wins, he stays in.
And we want Romney in, because the more Republican candidates we have fighting it out, trashing each other with negative ads and spending tons of money, the better it is for us. We want Mitt to stay in the race, and to do that, we need him to win in Michigan.
That hasn’t stopped some whiners on the left from complaining about GOP dirty tricks:
It’s only going to get worse—Republicans will change parties when there is closed primaries and in open primaries, they will cross-over and vote for Hillary Clinton in increasing numbers.
Effectively, this emerging pattern calls into question the validity of any voting from here on out, even in closed primaries. There’s just so much lead time before the next contests that Republicans have plenty of time to register as Democrats and monkey with our primary.
Imagine just how effin’ hard it will be to make sure revotes in Florida and Michigan don’t end becoming a huge clusterf**k…
The problem is that Republicans whose only goal is sabotage our nomination process are going to make this seem closer than it really is. And that’s going to embolden Hillary Clinton to continue to make more attacks on our eventual nominee. And it’s going to further divide the party. And maybe even cost us the election.
The Kos gambit proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that if the shoe were on the other foot, the netroots would be having a gay old time organizing and getting their minions to the polls to vote for one Republican or another. I hardly think the crocodile tears being shed here should make any Republican feel sorry for the Democrats and the pickle they are in – trouble entirely of their own making.
From their cockamamie caucuses to the perfidious proportional representation plans to the very idea of so many Super Delegates having the nomination in their hands not to mention the Michigan and Florida fiascos all point to a party besotted with political correctness, sacrificing winning on the altar of “fairness” and “diversity.” How “fair” is the caucus system really? And “diversity” is just another way to pander – again, at the expense of what elections are all about; winning.
We ain’t playing “Go Fish” here, folks. This race is for keeps. If the Democrats ever start acting like that is the case, Republicans will stay away and Democrats will come up with a viable nominee.
Otherwise, Democrats will continue to be toyed with while the GOP chortles with glee over what magic they have wrought.