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18 comments

1 CuriousLurker  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:06:31pm

How are they disenfranchising Republican voters? They weren't deprived of their voting rights, and crossover voting is perfectly legal in Michigan.

Was it partisan? Yeah, looks that way. Was it unethical? Maybe, but it wasn't some sort of electoral fraud. If the Michigan GOP doesn't like it, then they should work at having the open primary voting laws changed. They may not want to do that however, as they can use the option to their benefit as well.

Michigan Presidential Primary Facts and Statistics (PDF)
Provides legislative history going back to 1912.

2 Daniel Ballard  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:36:48pm

re: #1 CuriousLurker

Sure it's legal. But each crossover vote negates a Republican one. That's how it disenfranchises, yes, legally. The net effect is the same. The legality of it points more to a negligence or (IMO) a highly questionable desire to deliberately allow this kind of mischief.

Open primaries clearly fly in the face of the intended party primary process. Lets say the shoe were on the other foot and Republicans changed the outcome of a primary to a far less electable candidate. Would we not hear a hue and cry?

3 researchok  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 3:03:53pm

It's just more political shenanigans. GOP voters will be exhorted to do the same next go round.

Anything but dealing with real issues.

OT, I thought of you when I saw this:

Lytro camera a ‘game-changer’ in world of photography

4 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 3:04:46pm

re: #2 Daniel Ballard

It totally depends on whether it's the party's choice to make the primary open. If so, they knew the consequences from the start, and anybody taking part in the primary is not a disenfranchisement in any sense.

5 goddamnedfrank  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 3:06:44pm

re: #2 Daniel Ballard

Sure it's legal. But each crossover vote negates a Republican one. That's how it disenfranchises, yes, legally. The net effect is the same.

The Republican votes aren't negated, they're still there. By your own admission 37% of those Republican votes went for Santorum too, so those votes certainly weren't negated by the crossover. The votes for Paul, Gingrich and Romney weren't negated either, even if their collective weight was reduced by the respective difference between the Republican and Democratic voters.

You're also making a huge assumption that the majority of those votes were "mischief." You have no idea how those people are going to vote in the general election. At 9% many of them may only nominally be Democrats, blue dogs on the border, socially conservative and disenchanted with their own party. Locking them out of the primary denies them the opportunity to try on the Republican brand before they buy into the final product. This is part of the strategic thinking that goes into having an open primary.

Lastly, even if we were to assume that the group identified as "somewhat liberal" who Santorum also over performed with all voted to hurt the Republican party, the article doesn't tell us what portion of those crossover voters this subgroup entails. It also ignores the fact that Santorum didn't sweep this category, so we must reduce the "mischief" by the number that voted for Romney, if for no other reason than their idea of mischief lines up with the majority MI Republican orthodoxy.

6 Daniel Ballard  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 3:42:57pm

re: #5 goddamnedfrank

The Republican votes aren't negated, they're still there. By your own admission 37% of those Republican votes went for Santorum too, so those votes certainly weren't negated by the crossover. The votes for Paul, Gingrich and Romney weren't negated either, even if their collective weight was reduced by the respective difference between the Republican and Democratic voters.

You're also making a huge assumption that the majority of those votes were "mischief." You have no idea how those people are going to vote in the general election. At 9% many of them may only nominally be Democrats, blue dogs on the border, socially conservative and disenchanted with their own party. Locking them out of the primary denies them the opportunity to try on the Republican brand before they buy into the final product. This is part of the strategic thinking that goes into having an open primary.

Lastly, even if we were to assume that the group identified as "somewhat liberal" who Santorum also over performed with all voted to hurt the Republican party, the article doesn't tell us what portion of those crossover voters this subgroup entails. It also ignores the fact that Santorum didn't sweep this category, so we must reduce the "mischief" by the number that voted for Romney, if for no other reason than their idea of mischief lines up with the majority MI Republican orthodoxy.

From the top-Each Democrat that went for this attack op and voted for Santorum off set one Republican vote for Romney. That's the undeniable effect. You admitted it yourself-""even if their collective weight was reduced by the respective difference between the Republican and Democratic voters."" (Italics just for ease of read)

As to "huge assumption it's mischief" I direct you to Daily Kos and many other lefty sites encouraging exactly that.

[Link: crooksandliars.com...]

At the Santorum election night official gathering we actually heard from one of the pro Santorum Dems on NPR. And yes it was all explicitly about helping the most potentially damaging candidate for the GOP into the win box.

A primary is really for the party to choose it's man or woman. It's not a try before you buy exercise like a new coat. Open primaries suck.

7 Decatur Deb  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 3:48:30pm

re: #2 Daniel Ballard

Sure it's legal. But each crossover vote negates a Republican one. That's how it disenfranchises, yes, legally. The net effect is the same. The legality of it points more to a negligence or (IMO) a highly questionable desire to deliberately allow this kind of mischief.

Open primaries clearly fly in the face of the intended party primary process. Lets say the shoe were on the other foot and Republicans changed the outcome of a primary to a far less electable candidate. Would we not hear a hue and cry?

Agree the process is game-friendly and should be fixed. At the same time, I wonder where "Operation Chaos" originated. Consider Michigan an object lesson.

8 Daniel Ballard  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 3:57:55pm

re: #4 Rush Limpaugh, PhDick

What about when a legislature makes it an open primary to help cement their majority?

9 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 4:00:09pm

re: #8 Daniel Ballard

Nobody but a party should have a control over the process of nomination. Whether it happens by closed or open primaries, caucuses, divination or coin-tossing. The party matters are private matters. There should be no involvement of the state.

10 CuriousLurker  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 4:02:19pm

I'm in the middle of trying to get a web site ready for a soft launch and it looks like everyone beat me to responding to you, but I'll go ahead and tell you my thoughts anyway.

re: #2 Daniel Ballard

Open primaries clearly fly in the face of the intended party primary process.

I'm inclined to disagree, however I'm not familiar with how primary types are are decided. I don't have time to look it up and read about it at the moment, therefore I can't be sure. I would assume it's voted on by state legislatures or some such process that gives memebers of both parties a voice, but I could be mistaken.

Lets say the shoe were on the other foot and Republicans changed the outcome of a primary to a far less electable candidate. Would we not hear a hue and cry?

Did it change the outcome in Michigan? Romney was predicted to win and he did, so it seems that all it did was perhaps decrease the margin by which he beat Santorum.

I don't know how much hue and cry there was when it happened in the '08 Dem primaries, do you? I'm not being sarcastic, I simply wasn't anywhere near as politically involved or aware then as I am now, so I couldn't say. (Caveat: I didn't fact check FactCheck.org on the info.) I seems some Republicans in Ohio were possibly in violation of the law when it happened there, so I guess Ohio's rules must be different.

Here's a handy chart with some more info on the types of primaries. I'm not familiar with FairVote.org, but here's their Wiki page.

11 CuriousLurker  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 4:05:25pm

re: #8 Daniel Ballard

What about when a legislature makes it an open primary to help cement their majority?

Doesn't that happen all the time with voting districts being redrawn? I would guess that the pendulum eventually swings back the other way.

I don't know... Politics is messy & confusing.

12 goddamnedfrank  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 4:55:26pm

re: #6 Daniel Ballard

A primary is really for the party to choose it's man or woman. It's not a try before you buy exercise like a new coat. Open primaries suck.

A primary is really for what the party decides it's for, your opinion on the matter is irrelevant. You do realize that in California the Democrats run an open primary by choice, while the Republicans choose to have theirs closed. There's a reason that the Democrats choose to have their nominating contest be an open one, because it allows Independents and others a chance to buy in, it's a strategic decision, their choice. California Republicans close their primary because they want an insular process that reflects their views and their views only.

re: #8 Daniel Ballard

What about when a legislature makes it an open primary to help cement their majority?

The law that governs the current MI presidential primary (Public Act 163) was passed in 2011, by a State Senate and House both controlled by Republicans.

13 researchok  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 5:07:07pm

re: #11 CuriousLurker

It's all your fault.

///

14 Daniel Ballard  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 5:20:43pm

re: #12 goddamnedfrank

Every-bodies opinion on the net are irrelevant. Unless you give a crap about what other people think.

15 Daniel Ballard  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 5:39:09pm

re: #11 CuriousLurker

Oh hey did you see my "buy local" comment about looking for a web person?

16 HappyWarrior  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 7:30:04pm

i don't see it as being disenfranchising. The state of Michigan chose to do this and this had to been agreed to by both Republicans and Democrats. It's a little slimy I admit but there's nothing illegal about it and also Romney himself has admitted to doing this in 1992 so hard to feel bad for him if this trick was later used to hurt him.

17 Daniel Ballard  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 7:43:28pm

re: #16 HappyWarrior

I used the term loosely to spark the conversation. The commonality or "hook" is that is an underhanded way to game the system and promote your side.

18 CuriousLurker  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 11:32:02pm

re: #15 Daniel Ballard

Oh hey did you see my "buy local" comment about looking for a web person?

I vaguely remember seeing it, but I've been living a thick haze of code lately trying to get this web site I'm working on done, so I didn't even bookmark it.


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