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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Crossover Voters

We have heard this before

Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. David Davis said this morning that crossover Democrats voting in the 1st Congressional District Republican Primary contributed to his narrow defeat against GOP challenger Phil Roe.

“We believe there was a lot of Democrat switchover vote,” Davis said. “It is legal in the state of Tennessee for Democrats to go switch their allegiance in a primary. From what we saw around the polling places yesterday, we saw people with (Democrat state Rep.) Nathan Vaughn (of Kingsport) and Phil Roe campaign literature together. I think we won the Republican Primary with Republican Primary voters yesterday. I think he ultimately won the election with Democrat switchover vote.”

According to the Tennessee Division of Elections, Roe received 25,918 votes to Davis’ 25,458 votes.(LINK)

I am all for party registration. I kept up with this race because the the BHC crucified Davis weekly. Reminds me of the Sayre/Hanger race.

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Comments on "Crossover Voters"


Anonymous J. Tyler Ballance said ... (10:27 PM) : 

The open primary system has served Virginians very well.

When the parties have used conventions or tried to hold "firehouse primaries" where they could use special rules to exclude many voters, the result has typically been a candidate who is far to the extreme and who lacks the necessary appeal in the general election. This broad appeal is of greater significance in statewide races than in the already gerrymandered Congressional districts.

Over the past five decades that I have observed these open primaries, I have never seen any proof that participation by the opposite party has been significant enough to decide the vote. On the other hand, by having to take into consideration a wider audience, the candidates during the primary here in Virginia, must be more thoughtful in their tactics and more rational in their rhetoric since they must make their case before a potentially larger audience.

The open primary makes both major parties weed out the extremists and wild-eyed zealots, and instead nominate better quality candidates who have a BETTER chance of prevailing in the general election.

Usually the party insiders who howl about how much we need closed primaries have the ulterior motive that smaller primaries are cheaper to win and in some cases, easier to game the result. We already have big money controlling who the candidates are in many parts of the country. The open primary system is one vestige of democracy left that truly serves the best interests of the citizens and prevents to some extent, the multinational corporations from completely controlling the political process.

As for Tennessee, the last time they had a truly great leader was General Nathan Bedford Forrest.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:10 PM) : 

I'm not sure a closed primary would have helped here. Eastern Tennessee is usually rock-ribbed Republican at the federal level (the last Dem to win TN-1 pulled off the feat in 1882). In overwhelmingly Repub areas like that, Dems tend to vote in GOP primaries anyway.

I'm with you on the larger point, though.


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