“In most other states, Cochran’s effort might seem odd. Why would Democratic-leaning voters want to choose the Republican candidate who hasn’t won less than 60 percent of the vote in any of his five previous re-election campaigns? Because the chances of a Democratic victory in the fall are slim, no matter whom Republicans nominate.” – Harry Enton
I often complain about our electorate, and the unfortunate lack of information they seem to have when they turn off CNN, and mosey over to their local voting stations. That is still quite a severe problem, but there is a much more insidious problem we are facing as a Party: open primaries/open runoffs.
Currently, 19 states hold open primaries, meaning that in those states, Party affiliation doesn’t matter. In Mississippi, for example, Democrats who haven’t already voted in a Democrat primary can vote in a Republican primary. There is a legal understanding that once they cast that vote, they are bound to vote for the same candidate in the general election as well. However, that is an unenforceable legal understanding.
In Tuesday’s runoff for the Mississippi Senate candidate, RINO Thad Cochran narrowly beat Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel, who had previously beaten Cochran in the original primary on June 3rd. It was alleged shortly after the victory that the only reason Cochran won was because he actively courted black, and Democrat voters. Now, it appears as if that is actually the case.
According to Chip Pickering, former Mississippi congressman, and Cochran supporter:
“…somewhere between 25- and 35,000 crossover votes made the difference here.”
A true-blue conservative was beaten by an establishment Republican because of an open runoff system. When asked about the Cochran victory, allegedly conservative libertarian Rand Paul simply had this to say:
“I’m for more people voting, not less people voting.”
While that seems like a noble sentiment at the outset, in reality, it’s a wildly naive, and foolish notion. Open primaries are destructive, they encourage opposition voters to tamper with the system. If a Republican candidate poses a threat to a Democrat candidate, the Democrats can plan ahead, and use their voters to help elect a more easily defeated, “moderate” Republican candidate. The Democrats can rally a contingent of voters that will turn the election to favor the candidate they want to fight in the general election. Come November, either the Democrat defeats the Republican candidate, or the more “moderate,” Dem-friendly Republican wins. Either way, conservatives lose.
What’s the point of political Parties if the voting process that chooses the candidates for each Party is open? The only advantage of an open primary goes to those who would tamper with the system. Cochran courted Democrats because he knew it would put him over the top. I’m certain Cochran, and others would argue that courting the Democrats is a good thing, because it brings people together, rather than contributing to the partisanship that has taken politics, but that is false. Democrats voting in a Republican primary or runoff can only mean one of two things: either the Democrats are actively trying to influence the election in their favor, or the Republican candidate isn’t very conservative at all. Either way, it no good.
We need to close every primary, or we will continue to lose.