Only Democrats Should Be Voting In Democratic Primary

While researching my next story I ran across a story on MSNBC that talked about Republicans in Texas crossing over to vote for Barack Obama in the Democratic primary being held in that state next Tuesday. Some estimates have as much as ten percent of the electorate in the Democratic primary actually being Republicans. In my opinion this is just wrong and if you want to vote in the Democratic primary you should have to be a registered Democrat.

Of course the only reason these Republicans are so enthused about voting in the Democratic primary is because of their hatred for Hillary Clinton and the Clinton family. In fact on one Republican website in the Lone Star state has a posting that reads, “Even James Carville admits that if Hillary loses Texas, ‘she’s done!’ Republicans can help make this a reality!!! Just think, no more Clintons in the White House!”. That’s just great, the Republicans are going to help decide who our nominee is going to be.

It’s not just in Texas that this is happening, it has happened all across the country and right here in California. If you are not a registered Democrat you have no business voting in the Democratic primary. I don’t care if you are a Republican or Decline to State. If you aren’t a registered Democrat you should not be allowed to vote in our primaries. Allowing this to happen disenfranchises those of us that are loyal Democrats. Shame on those that have allowed this to happen.

  24 comments for “Only Democrats Should Be Voting In Democratic Primary

  1. Dan Chmielewski
    February 29, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Shawn —
    I disagree; the intention is to open the Democratic Primaries to DTS voters. If you are a registered Republican, you can’t vote in the Democratic Primary. We’re a big tent. Closing off the primary to non-Democrats will disenfranchise more voters against Democrats; just ask the Republicans about their closed California primary.

  2. February 29, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    “If you are a registered Republican, you can’t vote in the Democratic Primary.”

    Then how is this happening in Texas? Are they re-registering?

  3. February 29, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    In Texas, like in several states, there is no registration by party, you simply register to vote. You can simply “identify” as a Democrat, Republican or Independent. In fact the Texas Ballot, in the general election gives you an option to vote straight Dem ticket or straight Rep ticket.

    SO people who are saying they identify as Republicans are voting in the Dem primary. States without voter reg by party have no choice but to have an open primary and hope the majority of the people who show up are in that party.

  4. February 29, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Is it that tough to understand?
    Each state party makes it’s own rules as to who can participate in it’s primary.
    There is no national policy.
    In some states only Democrats can vote in Democratic primaries. Others (like CA) are open to Dems and registered independents. And a few (like Texas apparently) are open to all voters.
    So long as all campaigns understand the rules when making strategy decisions, I don’t see the problem.

  5. Bladerunner
    February 29, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Its a healthy discussion to have. Recall some years back California truly had a Texas-style open primary where Republicans could vote in the Democratic primary and vice versa. Republicans cried foul when two “moderate” Republicans(moderate relative to the normal conservative to the max Republican officeholders)Republicans won their assembly primaries due to crossover Democratic votes(read Lyn Daucher and Tom Harmon). This open primary by the way was placed into law by the voters on a ballot measure. Both Dems and Rep Party’s sued and won the right to regulate who voted in their primaries.

    The Reps decided on purity. The Dems decided on tactical grounds to allow decline to state voters in because this would increase the liklihood of their voting Democratic in the general. Intuitively that makes sense(unless they voted for the loser in the primary and then the logic escapes me) but I haven’t seen the empirical data to support the belief.

    Currently, the polling data I have seen shows Clinton and Obama dead even among Democratic voters nationally but Obama has a big lead among independents who are voting in Democratic primaries(not all states allow D/S to vote in Democratic primaries. For example, Florida was a closed primary where independents need not apply). Hence the hue and cry from the Obama people about the bubble ballot in LA which disenfranchised D/S voters who didn’t fill in the bubble.

    I’m still pondering this one but I’ll tell you one thing, the train wreck thats coming will be the clash of moderate independents and progressive Democrats if Obama wins the big banana. Someone is in for a letdown.

  6. February 29, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Claudio’s right. Many states have no partisan registration. Texas is one of the states in which you do not register with a party.

    BR: You feel the Obama people are more concerned about the bubble ballots in LA than the disenfranchising of Florida and Michigan voters. OK. We get that. You may now weigh in on a different topic or two.

  7. February 29, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    The more DTS folks who vote Democratic in the primaries, the more likely they are to vote for Democratic candidates in the fall election. Further, at least here in CA (I have no clue about TX), a significant chunk of those registered as DTS, perhaps as much as 50%, are reliably Democratic voters. They just haven’t registered as Dems, because there is no good reason to, and the party does nothing to reward or encourage Democratic registration.

    Nothing is lost by allowing DTS folks to vote in our primaries, and little if anything is gained by preventing them from doing so.

  8. Eric
    February 29, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    I actually very much agree with this sentiment. I think only dems (or reps) should be allowed to vote in a primary. If you are DTS, you need to select a preference at least 2 weeks before voting starts. Of course this would in fact mean that Hillary would be the nominee already, but at least the voters of the party would have chosen their candidate. If you want open primaries, then primaries as they currently exist should not exist. It should just be a national primary day with an instant run-off voting system that everyone gets to vote for their top three candidates or something, and the top winner for each party wins the nominee. But I do not like the idea of republicans choosing our candidate, and vice versa.

  9. February 29, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    It is retarded for either party to shun the independents. The day is soon coming when independents will be the majority in this country as both the dems and the reeps continue to blow it, in Congress and in the White House.

  10. February 29, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Such a move to allow only Democrats would harm the Democratic party. As others have mentioned, voters who vote in the primary are more likely to vote for us in the general.

    Frm. Asm. Canciamilla (sp?) tried to get open primaries completely a la Texas in a bid to get legislators to come not just from the ends of the spectrum. It’s an interesting idea, but not sure if legislation is the best way to do it. Of course, this leaves us with 40+ Republican intractable GOP legislators.

    By the way, I’m originally from Texas, and well, there simply is no way to eliminate Reps from Dem elections. Texas doesn’t have registration by party, and it’s not likely to come anytime soon. At any rate, I was a precinct chair for several years, and you know who the Dems and Reps were.

  11. February 29, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Sean, would you be saying this if Clinton were not about to lose? 😉

    I disagree with your idea here. If your party wants private primaries that exclude voters, then your party should pay for them with your party’s funds. I think it is outrageous that the Democrats and the Republicans collude through the Commission on Presidential Debates to take the public airwaves over and exclude all other parties from “the” Presidential debates. I think the two party’s ought to pay for that air time.

    And I think you cut your nose off to spite your face when you folow through with such exclusions. You win general elections with independents as well as Democrats, and you precipitate coalition realignments by luring away the rank-n-file who have customarily been aligned with your opponents. Ever heard of the Reagan Democrats? That kind of realignment is Obama’s target. If he succeeds in such a realignment–a victory beyond just winning–the Democrats will be in an amazing position that may last quite some time. Clinton will never accomplish such a thing. Her nomination would squander an historic opening, a moment when real numbers of Republicans are switching allegiance, either in their registrations or in the primary vote or in their donations.

  12. February 29, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    BTW Sean, just sent an email re: Andrade to you work email address. I hope it’s still the title company. See you soon… j

  13. February 29, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Rob from Monterey, you have expressed what I was thinking and that is why DTS voters do not bother me, they are the “swing” voters and they make the difference between who will win or lose in the GE.

  14. February 29, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    I am quite sure that if these folks were voting “against” Obama folks would have a much different opinion.

    It is the “Democratic” primary not the “all comers” primary.

    Allowing non-Dems decide who will be a nominee is flat wrong. If a “indy” or “DTS” is willing to vote for Obama in February are you telling me they won’t in November because we won’t let them vote in our primary? Hogwash.

    We’re gonna let the Reeps in Texas help decide who our nominee is come November. That’s just great. Look at the last guy they sent to Washington.

  15. Whambulance
    February 29, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    If you are not happy with losing please dial the whambulance at 1-800-waa-waa-waaa

  16. RLG
    February 29, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    The premise is CORRECT!

    This time around Republicans were more shrewd than DEMS.

    Once again, Dems have shot themselves in the foot!!

  17. February 29, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    No Sean, if they were voting for Hillary I would see this as an advantage for her. The issue is, I know many Dems and Republicans who will under no circumstance vote for her. I have Republican friends who will vote Obama.

    It’s just a fact and I am not the only one to experience this. People are tired of the us and them BS. Obama is drawing in DTS because that is the exact reason why they don’t identify with either party.

  18. February 29, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    “if they were voting for Hillary I would see this as an advantage for her”

    The problem is that many of these folks aren’t voting for Obama they are simply voting against Hillary. Come November they won’t cast that same vote.

    Things are swell for Obama now, just wait until the media’s love affair with him ends. It is gonna get real, real ugly and his poll numbers will drop dramatically.

    We already know what they will throw at Hillary because they have been throwing it since the early 1990’s. Obama isn’t gonna know what hit him.

  19. colleen
    February 29, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    sunkenroad is right – if parties want private primaries, they should pay for them. Publicly funded primaries/elections should be a free game for all voters. I’ve been a DTS for 10 years now and it’s been fun to keep track of who wants me and who doesn’t, and how that changes depending on the political climate.

  20. Bladerunner
    February 29, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Gila– I didn’t realize you had assumed the role of content gatekeeper for the blog. How kind of you. But I’ll stand on my point’s relevance to this particular post of Sean’s.

    Brian–While on balance I support letting D/S voters vote in Democratic primaries I think Joe Canciamilla’s idea of an open primary is bollocks. Allowing Republicans to play mischief in Democratic primaries and vice versa can lead to no good. Joe was a very moderate Dem who used to drive you NORCAL progressives crazy sometimes. This was a goofy idea which was DOA. While I disagree with Sean about the DTS he is right on about not allowing Republicans to decide our nominee. And that’s exactly what is going to happen Tuesday in Texas and Ohio where Republicans will be able to get a Democratic ballot . And despite the spiked Jamba Juice some of you folks are sipping, Sean is right, those republicans won’t be with Barack in November if he gets the nomination, with the exception of the occasional South County white wine crowd.

    Heather- You wrote : ” DTS voters do not bother me.” That’s heartening because I thought you were a DTS voter.

    For those of you who complain about primaries being funded the way they are, here’s a suggestion: go qualify an initiative. Most of us are fine with it..

    The flip side of having open or semi-open primaries is you get candidates who may be more electable but are less loyal to the platform of the party. The California GOP loves the fact there is a Republican Governor who can appoint people but they are furious that the Governor fails to consistently support basic tenents of the California GOP Platform. Try flipping that around and thinking of a Democratic Senator who gets nominated in large part due to D/S and in office proceeds to become Joe Liberman west. Or a Democrat who gets the party’s nomination for governor with a strong D/S vote and proceeds to bash unions, or environmental laws, or supports a constitutional amendment on marriage being between a man and a woman, or, Brian, decides to really screw the Democrats by joining the Common Cause crowd and letting Republicans and Decline to States control the reapportionment process.
    The improved chance of winning might be worth the risk of having ideologically watered down nominees with D/S voters but its a serious issue that shouldn’t be dismissed so easily.

  21. February 29, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    I am a DTS voter, a recovering one and I plan on registering as a Democrat before the General Election. No more declined to state for me, I’m a Democrat.

    And DTS voters still don’t bother me.

  22. cook
    February 29, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Closed primaries complies with the 1st amendment “freedom of assembly”

    It is held to be a key right in liberal democracies, whereby citizens may form or join any political party, special interest group, or union without government restrictions (Wikipedia®)

    Open primaries are BS.

    DTS’s have made a choice not to be part of a party, if they should change their mind, they can reregister.

  23. Josh
    March 3, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    IF Obama wins the Dem nom, he will lose the primary election.

    I get sick and tired of hearing “people hate Hillary” when Obama’s negative rating is just about 10 points shy of hers; where’s the “people hate Obama”?

    So the same progressives I’ve agreed with over the past 7 years about the crappy media giving Bush a pass on all of his failed policies, are now so willing to suck up all the very same media has to say, because of a “feel good” candidate?

    Dems are truly suckers.

  24. March 3, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    I’m very confused about your comment Josh. 10 points is huge when the last two elections were lost by such a slim margin. Secondly, I don’t many progressives that get their information about candidates from the local media. I think if you are referring to the general public, that’s another mater, but not progressives who are far more well informed than the mainstream.

    The other thing Obama has on his side is the fact that he can string more than one sentence together and people might want to have a beer with him. I wouldn’t be so quick to count him out in the general election.

    I also don’t quite get what is so awful about feeling good about a candidate. It’s sad that we’ve not had that in so long people refuse to give into something as simple as the possibility things might be different. If we never do, then nothing changes ever.

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