Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Dems voting for Rick Santorum sounds fun, but Republicans who voted for Barack Obama thought the same thing

with one comment

If you call yourself a Dem, liberal, or progressive, would you feel tempted to vote for Rick Santorum? Would you feel the same way if you talked to a Republican who voted for Barack Obama in the primary?

When you vote for president in November, you feel like on some level that your vote counts for something, even if you are a Republican in California or a Democratic person in Texas. You are also voting for representatives and senators that make an impact for your state in Washington.

Often in primaries, your vote doesn’t mean a whole lot if you don’t live in the early states. Democratic voters in 2008 got a taste of the good life with the battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Republican voters also got a little taste based from a deep dark secret in American democracy: the ability to vote in the other party’s primary.

Yes, some Republicans crossed over and voted for Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primaries, especially later in the season once we knew John McCain would be the GOP nominee. And yes, some Republicans voted for Barack Obama because they thought he would be the weaker candidate in the fall.

Despite the hysteria, Obama has been rather good for Republicans. He added several Republicans to the Cabinet who are working hard. He went easy on George W. Bush and the banks and Wall Street. Gitmo is still around. We’re still cutting back on freedoms. And let’s not forget that the Bush tax cuts are still around … in 2012.

If a President Santorum comes as a result of Dems crossing over, they will have much more to fear from a Santorum Administration.

The Dems have the advantage of not worrying about their presidential primary in 2012. And if there isn’t a significant race elsewhere on the ballot, the temptation would be to vote in the GOP primary.

This is the case in Illinois today. I can tell you there is no incentive where I live to grab a Democratic ballot, and I can’t be alone. If I lived in the new Congressional district in Ohio where Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich were running against each other, nothing could make me grab a GOP ballot.

So I might vote in the Republican primary today. Or not.

If you are a Dem, and you do cross, who do you vote for? The obvious answer is Rick Santorum. He is seen as being the weaker candidate against President Barack Obama in November. But Republicans thought McCain had a better chance against Obama than Clinton.

Reading the tea leaves within a campaign is a tough go, especially if you have any emotion toward a side in the battle. Of course, Republicans thought Obama was the weaker candidate. Of course, Dems think Santorum is the weaker candidate.

Some pundits have compared Mitt Romney in 2012 to Bill Clinton in 1992, being candidates that the base wasn’t excited about. Some see that as brilliant, others as clueless. Comparing Barack Obama (2008) vs. Rick Santorum (2012) is seen either as brilliant or clueless. The voters will decide that in November.

Since Illinois isn’t a take-all primary, voting today for Rick Santorum won’t make as much of an impact as it would if it was a winner-take-all scenario. And if you live in Illinois in a Congressional district where Santorum didn’t fill out paperwork to collect a delegate, your vote for Santorum is virtually worthless.

Since I don’t disclose who I vote for, asking me who I voted for will be a moot point. (A lot of political reporters don’t vote at all.) But I will be tempted more than usual to go for a GOP ballot.

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One Response

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  1. Most Chicagoans who want to vote for Rick Santorum can do so, but won’t be able to vote for his delegates since Santorum didn’t file the paperwork. If you live in the 4th, 5th and 7th districts (Chicago), and the 13th district that includes the capital of Springfield, you can vote for the guy, not the delegates. You could vote for Gingrich’s delegates.

    Also, if you are looking a protest vote, Rick Perry and Buddy Roemer are also on the Illinois ballot besides the regular 4 candidates.

    democracysoup

    March 20, 2012 at 10:51 am


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