Democrats Crossing the Line
According to this morning’s ProJo>:
More than 14,500 Rhode Island Democrats have switched their voter affiliations within the past six months to participate in the Sept. 12 Republican primary, a figure that experts say will probably help incumbent Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee in his campaign against Cranston Mayor Stephen P. Laffey.
State elections records compiled by the secretary of state’s office show that 13,596 Democrats switched their affiliations to independent — or unaffiliated in the state’s political argot — which would make them eligible to vote in the primary. An additional 987 Democrats switched to Republican, thus making them eligible to vote in the GOP primary.
That’s quite a number, especially given the historic turnout of a GOP primary. I wonder if all of the switching has to do with the Laffey / Chafee race, though. Governor Carcieri does face a primary challenger this fall, too, and many believe that traditionally Democrat labor unions are quietly behind Michaud’s candidacy. Let’s not forget that. I’m also not so sure that all of this party switching augers as well for Sen. Chafee as most of the experts believe.
I would bet that many Democrats simply don’t think that Laffey can win state wide. So, they believe that by disaffiliating and voting in the GOP primary they can kill the two biggest GOP birds with one stone. Should Laffey and Michaud win, Democrats no doubt believe that both Whitehouse and Fogerty would roll to general election wins. Of course, any such forecasting doesn’t take into account that the vast majority of independent RI voters may not appreciate the genius of such political calculations.