Tag Archives: crossover

Ramsey Not Sold on Closed Primaries

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey isn’t sold on state Rep. Tony Shipley’s call for closed primaries in the aftermath of Shipley’s 10-vote victory over former Kingsport Alderman Ben Mallicote in the 2nd House District GOP primary.
So begins a Hank Hayes story today. The rest of his report::
“I’m hesitant about that because we have gained (Republican) majorities in the state Senate and state House, and the way we’ve done that is literally hundreds of thousands of people across this state decide they are no longer Democrats and they want to be Republicans,” said Ramsey, R-Blountville. “When I came in the state House (in the 1990s), I’m not sure there were one or two Republicans serving west of the Tennessee River, and now it is almost all Republicans. I’m not sure we want to tell those (Democratic voters) they are not welcome in our party.”
Earlier this week, Shipley met with Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell to pitch the idea of closed primaries after his election review showed more than 1,200 GOP primary voters had previously voted in one or more Democratic primaries, and that he believed most were Democrats who voted for Mallicote.
Shipley, R-Kingsport, called his number a “guesstimate” although he didn’t have complete data from the Sullivan County Election Commission.
“The more accurate number would be a broad number from 200 to 2,000 (voters), but you can’t define it too precisely yet…” Shipley said. “We’re working on the numbers because we’re going to need it for closed primaries.”

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On Crossover Voting in Open Primary States (Like TN)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top two contenders for the Republican presidential nomination are accusing each other of benefiting from the support of crossover Democratic voters in states that allow anyone to participate in a party primary.
And both are correct. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have each worked to woo independent voters and conservative Democrats during campaign appearances. While it may be anathema to their hard-core GOP supporters, it’s an acknowledgement of the kind of crossover appeal that any GOP nominee will need in November if he’s to defeat President Barack Obama.
It also creates a tricky rhetorical tightrope for the candidates: making a pitch to non-Republican voters while finding fault when an opponent does the same thing.
When Santorum made the Michigan primary a squeaker this week, for example, Romney attributed his rival’s strong second-place finish to help from liberals who hoped Santorum would make a weaker opponent for Obama.
“They got the news from everyone from Michael Moore to Barack Obama’s team to, frankly, Rick Santorum as well, saying, ‘Go play mischief in the Republican Party. Vote against Mitt Romney and try to give this to Rick Santorum.’ You know, they don’t want to face me in the fall. They’d rather face Rick Santorum,” Romney said in a recent interview. “They came in, in large numbers, and voted for Rick.”
Santorum did get a boost from Democrats; 13 percent of his votes came from them, according to exit polls, compared with 4 percent for Romney.

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