Monday, November 28, 2022

Should Republicans Vote In Democratic Primary

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Twelve years ago, Rush Limbaugh, who had not yet received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, urged the listeners of his enormously popular and very conservative talk-radio show to vote for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries. In the patchwork process that is employed to nominate Presidential candidates, more than a dozen states have open primaries, which allow registered voters to participate in either contest. Limbaugh wanted Clintons close but seemingly losing fight with Barack Obama to go on for as long as possible, on the theory that a protracted battle would weaken the eventual nominee. He called the plan Operation Chaos. Limbaugh didnt think that Clinton was necessarily the weaker of the two candidatesin fact, he ultimately concluded that Obama was by May, 2008, he was pushing his fans to vote for the senator from Illinois. Barack Obama has shown he cannot get the votes Democrats need to winblue-collar, working-class people, Limbaugh said. He can get effete snobs, he can get wealthy academics, he can get the young, and he can get the black vote, but Democrats do not win with that.

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Is It Common For Democrats To Participate In The Republican Primary And Vice Versa

In short, no. According to Elizabeth Simas, a political science professor at the University of Houston who spoke about this with Texas Standard, cases of strategic voting dont happen much in primary elections. Certainly, there are people who do it but we just dont see it happening as much as theres potentially this fear for it to happen, Simas said.

In areas dominated by one party, especially rural areas, voters might cross party lines in the primary to have more of a say in their local races.


In my county, all the local races are Republican. Judges, sheriff, district attorney, Martha Mims, a Democratic voter who lives Williamson County, wrote in The Texas Tribunes Facebook group, This is Your Texas. If I want to have a say in local government, I have to vote in the Republican primary.

Voters like Mims can do that, thanks to Texas open primary. Do you have more questions about voting in Texas? Submit them to our Texplainer series.

Disclosure: The University of Houston has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribunes journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

Do You Have To Vote For The Party You’re Registered With

Your state may give you the opportunity to declare your political party affiliation on your voter registration card.

  • You do not have to vote for the party youre registered with in a federal, state, or local general election.
  • But in a presidential primary or caucus, depending on your states rules, you may have to vote for the political party youve registered with.

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When Your Vote Doesnt Matter Try Switching Ballots

If your party is going to lose, you can at least have a say in howit loses.

About the authors: Jonathan Robinson is a data and political analyst working in progressive politics.Sean Trende is a nonresident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he works on elections, American political trends, voting patterns, and demographics. He is also the senior elections analyst for RealClearPolitics.

Pundits and voters of all stripes lament just how extreme, polarized, and ideological American politics has become. But such grievances rarely come with advice for how ordinary people can address this problem, other than by voting for their preferred political partys candidates in general elections. Even that advice isnt very helpful: Voters in many parts of the country do not have the chance to participate in close electoral contests.

Yet Democrats in Alabama and Republicans in New York, say, still have the power to secure better representation in Congress andstrike a blow against political polarization. In places where electoral competition is lacking, primary elections by and large decide political outcomes. Voters in those places are accustomed to participating in their own partys primaries. But often the opposite partys primary is more competitive and more consequential. So why not strategically vote in the other partys primary?

How Parties Can Enact 17

Would you vote for a Democrat who behaves like a Republican?

17-year-old primary and caucus voting does not require state legislative action. Many states adopting this policy have done so by state law, but others have by changing state party rules.


  • State parties have broad authority over their nominating contests.
  • They may request to allow 17-year-old primary voting by asserting their First Amendment freedom of association rights.

Primary voting rights for 17-year-olds is legal and does not change the voting age.

  • Only those 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the general election may vote in the corresponding primary election or caucus. FairVote’s proposal treats the nomination contest as an integral part of the general election in which these citizens can vote.
  • The 26th Amendment prevents states from denying suffrage to 18-year-olds, but does not prevent states from establishing 17-year-old primary and caucus voting.

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Open Primaries In The United States

An open primary is a primary election that does not require voters to be affiliated with a political party in order to vote for partisan candidates. In a traditional open primary, voters may select one partys ballot and vote for that partys nomination. As in a closed primary, the highest voted candidate in each party then proceeds to the general election. In a nonpartisan blanket primary, all candidates appear on the same ballot and the two highest voted candidates proceed to the runoff election, regardless of party affiliation. The constitutionality of this system was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States in 2008, whereas a partisan blanket primary was previously ruled to be unconstitutional in 2000.The arguments for open primaries are that voters can make independent choices, building consensus that the electoral process is not splintered or undermined by the presence of multiple political parties.

New York Congressional Primaries

Several prominent Democrats faced off in rare intraparty House primaries in and around New York City after the states redistricting went awry. Jerrold Nadler defeated Carolyn Maloney, a fellow septuagenarian committee chair, in Manhattan, and Sean Patrick Maloney, the chairman of the House Democratic campaign arm, beat back a progressive challenger in a suburban district. Daniel Goldman, a moderate Democrat, won a crowded primary for an open seat covering parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. On the Republican side, the head of the state Republican Party, Nick Langworthy, won a contest for a House seat in western New York. And in a special election, a Democrat, Pat Ryan, won a Hudson Valley swing seat in which abortion was a big issue.

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How Do You Choose

When you show up to your polling location, youll decide whether you want a Democratic or Republican primary ballot.

But after choosing a side in the primary, you have to stay in that lane through the runoff. You cant vote Republican in the primary election and then participate in a runoff election between top Democratic candidates.

That said, voting in a primary does not commit you to vote for a particular candidate in the general election. You can vote for either partys candidate in the November election.

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When Is The Deadline To Register

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The deadline for voting in Pennsylvania is today.


Some states allow same-day registration and others require you to register months in advance of the primary. In Pennsylvania, the deadline to register to vote is today, Monday, March 28.

You can register to vote online here, in person at your county voter registration office, or by mail to your county voter registration office You can download a blank voter registration form to mail or drop off in person here.

For some reason, the site for registering to vote online currently reads: The last day to register before the 2016 GENERAL PRIMARY was 03/28/2016. Any application submitted now until 04/26/2016 will be held and processed the day after the 2016 GENERAL PRIMARY. If you are registering for the first time and are not already registered to vote, you will not be able to vote in the 2016 GENERAL PRIMARY. However, today is March 28 and is supposed to be the final day for registration. Were not certain why the deadline is over banner is on the website at the time of publication.

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It Sells Out The Left Flank

Elections are warlike. They pit, people and organizations against one another in ideological strife. They also stress test coalitions and determine who will hang together so we do not, in the words of Ben Franklin, most assuredly hang separately.

In 2016, progressive Democratic precinct chairs such as my good friend Egberto Willies took flack from people similar to them on the ideological spectrum for going to bat for Clinton in an effort to avoid Donald Trump becoming president. The coalition splintered a chunk of Sanders voters stayed home, voted third party, or even voted for Trump.

It is easy for the more mainstream Democratic voter to point the finger at those voters and point out that their lack of party loyalty led to a worse outcome for all of us. The criticism has some validity.

But that critique becomes entirely hypocritical as soon as the left center/moderate wing of the Democratic Party jumps ship to vote for Republicans, even in a primary . The goal of progressives is not to help elect Sarah Davis and Ed Emmett, two well-known public figures who serve as a local carrying source for other Republicans to slide into office. The goal of progressives is to change the values that govern our world.

In other words: Were at war here. Remember who your friends are.


The Louisiana Primary System

The Louisiana system, sometimes called the “Cajun Primary,” eliminates the primary election altogether. Instead, all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, run on the same ballot in November. If a candidate receives more than half of the votes, that candidate is elected. If no candidate wins with a majority, the top two vote-getters face off in a December runoff election. Qualified absentee voters receive a ballot for the November election and a ranked ballot for the December runoff, so that they can vote as normal in the general election and then have their ranked ballot count for whichever runoff candidate they ranked highest in the runoff election.

Although Louisiana law refers to the election in November as the “primary” and the December runoff as the “general” election, the November election takes place on the federally mandated Election Day and most candidates win office by receiving a majority vote in that election, so it is best understood as a general election, with the December election as a contingent runoff.

The Louisiana system is sometimes mistakenly equated with the Top Two system, but holding the first election in November and electing any candidate with more than 50% of the vote in that election makes it sufficiently distinct that it should not be understood as a mere variant of Top Two.

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Am I Eligible To Vote

To vote in New York, you must:


  • Be a United States citizen
  • Be 18 years old
  • Be a resident of New York and the county, city or village in which you reside for at least 30 days before the election
  • Not be in prison for a felony conviction
  • Not be adjudged mentally incompetent by a court
  • Not claim the right to vote elsewhere

To register to vote in New York for upcoming elections, go to Elections.ny.gov.

So How Does That Compare

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Voters who live in states with closed primaries are required to register with a political party in order to vote in that partys primary. If you wanted to vote in the Republican primary in New York, you have to register as a Republican. Oftentimes, third-party voters are locked out of the Republican and Democratic primaries. But some states, like Oklahoma, are a bit of a hybrid and let independent voters choose which primaries they want to participate in.

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After 2020 Redistricting Cycle

McKinley was elected in 2010, and Mooney was elected in 2014. Race forecasting outlets view West Virginia’s new 2nd District as Safe Republican. This is one of five districts with incumbents challenging one another in primaries this year.


Update: Tennessee GOP removes three candidates from TN-05 ballot

The Tennessee Republican Party voted to remove Baxter Lee, Morgan Ortagus, and Robby Starbuck from the ballot in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District. The party disqualified the candidates for not meeting requirements in its bylaws, which include having voted in three of the last four statewide GOP primaries and participating in state or local Republican parties. As we wrote last week, the state executive committee voted April 9 to remove the candidates, and candidates were able to challenge the vote.

Can I Vote By Absentee Ballot

In order to vote by absentee ballot, you must have qualified for and applied for an absentee ballot prior to Tuesday.

If you did so, you can mail it in, ensuring it has a postmark no later than June 28, or ensure that it arrives in person at your county Board of Elections office or a polling site in your county no later than 9 p.m. on June 28.

Note that if you applied for an absentee ballot but then decide to vote in-person on the machine at your polling location, you will have to fill out an affidavit ballot, according to a recent New York law.

You can still apply for an absentee ballot for the August primaries and the November general election.

To qualify, you must meet one or more of these criteria:

  • You are absent from your county or, if a resident of New York City absent from the five boroughs, on Election Day.
  • Youre unable to appear at the polls due to temporary or permanent illness or disability .
  • Youre unable to appear because you are the primary caregiver of one or more individuals who are ill or physically disabled.
  • Youre a resident or patient of a Veterans Health Administration Hospital.
  • Youre in jail or prison for any reason other than a felony conviction. This includes anyone who is awaiting grand jury action, awaiting trial, or serving a sentence for a misdemeanor.

To apply for an absentee ballot, go to Elections.ny.gov.

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Enhance The Role Of Superdelegates

We recommend doing the opposite of what the DNC chose to do with its Unity Reform Commission. Instead of diminishing the role of superdelegates by preventing them from voting on the first ballot or reducing their numbers, the party should augment their influence.

The purpose of superdelegates has never been to overturn the choice of voters in primaries. True, in principle they might act as a last barrier to a manifestly unacceptable candidate, like George Wallace or Henry Fordbut even that is unlikely, if a candidate has won a decisive victory in the primaries. Rather, their real importance is their indirect influence on the upstream end of the process. Their convention votes incentivize candidates to reach out to them in the early stages of campaigns. A candidate who seeks superdelegates support will need to listen to them and promise to work with them. Also, superdelegates commitments early in the process help establish party support and momentum for favored candidates. Superdelegates do not decide the nomination, but they do influence the nominees, the media, and the votersand that is exactly as it should be.

We recommend doing the opposite of what the DNC chose to do with its Unity Reform Commission. Instead of diminishing the role of superdelegates , the party should augment their influence.

Heres How You Can Vote In Nj Primary If Youre Not Registered With Either Party

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Primary elections

While primary elections are meant to give registered Democrats and Republicans a chance to say who will appear on the ballot in November, New Jerseys more than 2.4 million unaffiliated voters can have a say in the process.

The deadline to change from Republican to Democrat or from Democrat to Republican ahead of the primary elections has already passed. But unaffiliated voters are exempt from it and can cast a ballot in either the Democratic or Republican primaries on Tuesday.

Heres how it works:

An unaffiliated voter can walk into their polling station Tuesday and request a Republican or Democratic ballot and then cast their vote.

But theres a caveat.

That person is then registered under that party affiliation.

That means if you vote in the Democratic primary, youre now a registered Democrat. If you vote in the Republican primary, youre now a registered Republican.

But an unaffiliated voter who declares a party by voting in the primary can return to their unaffiliated status after the primary by re-registering as an unaffiliated voter, according to the states Division of Elections.

New Jerseyans can check whether theyre registered to vote at the Department of States Division of Elections website. If voters want to look up their party affiliation, they can create a free online account with the Division of Elections that allows them to access their detailed voting information.

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