Friday, October 21st, 2016

Crossing over


Every election cycle there’s talk of a crossover vote due to Wisconsin’s open primaries. And after every election there is little evidence of actual cross-over voting for the purposes of mischief.

There was some talk on Charlie Sykes’ program of voting for Scott Walker in the Democratic primary for governor, although Sykes was non-committal to the idea until it was shot down by Republican Party officials. Turns out you can’t have a candidate run against himself in the general election, even if enough Republicans could be motivated to vote in the Democratic Primary.

Michael Horne asked about the chances of Democrats crossing over to vote in the Republican presidential primary to cause mischief.

Michigan has had a rich history of crossover voting by both parties, with mixed results. This year, in an effort to suppress such crossovers, voters in Michigan had to specifically request – and sign for – a Republican ballot. Furthermore, there were no other significant races in Michigan at the time.

So, could it happen here?

Horne thinks that because Democrats are motivated there will be some crossover voting. I disagree:

Voters here are resigned to the fact that they are in a nonstop election cycle until November, and Democrats, in particular, have been very motivated, what with various recalls and the like. So expect a fair-sized crossover vote on election day.

However, conservative blogger Jim Wigderson disagrees, saying, “Never happens. I think Larry Sabato wrote about it recently. The only exception I’ve seen is Ron Paul. Insanity knows no party affiliation.”

Larry Sabato tweeted about a study of crossover and strategic voting. Sabato said it showed the number of “raiders” in open primaries is tiny.

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