View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Monday, August 09, 2004

Crossover Voting? 

Colorado requires that you be affiliated with a party to vote in that party's primaries, which has left a lot of unaffiliated voters with the impression that they're left out of tomorrow's balloting. Fortunately for them, Colorado's rules about changing that affiliation are about as malleable as New York or Illinois residency requirements for Senate candidacies. You can show up at the polls, and declare your desire to switch party affiliations.

The primary traditionally features Democrats and Republicans choosing their nominees for the general election. However, unaffiliated voters, the second largest voting group in Colorado, can participate Tuesday by declaring themselves members of one party.


Among those unaffiliated voters is political consultant Eric Sondermann. About five or six years ago, he dropped his Democratic Party registration. He said he did so mostly because he fell out of touch with the party.


Sondermann plans to register Tuesday as a Democrat so he can vote in the district attorney race in Denver. But by the end of the week, he said, he plans to switch his affiliation back to unaffiliated.

Interestingly, the other two sources quoted are Douglas County Clerk Carole Murray, a Republican, and Jon Caldera, head of the Republican-leaning Independence Institute. Schaffer conspiracy theorists have suspected that the Rocky has been backing Coors, and what better way to put him over the top than to appeal to those unaffiliateds that Coors is supposedly better at attracting. Ah, yes, it's all coming together, now...

Georgia has essentially the same system, except that it expressly permits crossover voting in the primaries, so you don't have to play Registration Leapfrog at the polls. It was crossover voting that got Cynthia McKinney booted out of her Congressional seat, in my parents' district. Sadly, after two years of Bush-bashing, indignation at Ms. McKinney's statements and supporters cooled enough for her to win a majority in this year's primary.

Now, there's this:

"People always talk about Salazar's electability, but we feel Mike is the truly electable candidate," said [Miles Press Spokesman Liz] Gauthier. "Mike has tremendous appeal with independent voters, and we've even heard from Republicans who have registered as Democrats for the first time because of him."

The idea of Republicans switching over to vote for the most leftist candidate available strikes me as implausible on any grounds other than gamesmanship. But Salazar isn't at all a repugnant figure like McKinney. There's certainly been no organized move to cause Salazar grief in the Democratic primary, and the close Republican primary will keep almost all Republicans voting at home tomorrow. So don't look for a Miles upset to come from across the aisle. In fact, don't look for a Miles upset at all.

Blogarama - The Blog Directory
help Israel
axis of weevils
contact us
site sections