Some February 12th Funny Business? (part deux)
by Todd Beeton, Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:05:21 PM EST
A couple weeks ago, I found an interesting post on right-wing blog race42008 wherein a Virginia Republican blogger pledged to vote for Hillary Clinton in Virginia's Feb. 12th open primary. As he explained then:
It looks like by the time the first post-Super Tuesday primaries are held here in Virginia, the Republican nomination battle will be more or less wrapped up. Between the Arnold and Rudy endorsements and Huckabee and Romney splitting the conservative vote, I'm just not sure anyone other than McCain will be viable by then.
So what's a Republican to do? Take a page from Kos, of course. You will recall that in the Michigan primary, Kos urged Democrats to vote for Romney, on the theory that he would be the weakest general election candidate.
Since then, Romney has dropped out and Huckabee has made a real play for Virginia, so I was skeptical that Hillary Clinton would see a cross-over Republican bounce. But then diarist jmr1948 finds an interesting piece over at NRO's The Corner:
My wife and I have never voted for anything left of Republican, frequently voting on the Conservative party line when available. Yet today, we both voted for Hillary in the VA primary. Why? Because it seems McCain has it wrapped up, so why waste our vote on the Republican side; she is a lot less scary than Obama in many ways (better the Devil you know), and I think she is more easily beaten with her high negatives and lack of charisma. So we were part of the high Dem turn out today which I am sure you will hear about. And there is no way we will ever vote Dem in November.
We live in a highly conservative precinct (Eric Cantor is our Congressman). I saw many folks today picking up the Democratic ballot also. I think my wife and I were far from alone in our thinking.
But anyone who thinks the cross-over voting would automatically benefit Hillary Clinton, think again, Ambinder brings us this e-mail from a Republican reader:
I have heard no less than five [CONSERVATIVE THINK TANK] staffers say they voted for Obama today. Personally I think their calculus is all wrong and I plan to vote for Hillary later today.
The cross-over vote is something to look for as the post-mortem on the Virginia race is written. For what it's worth, Survey USA's final Virginia poll, which has Obama up 60-38, has Republicans making up just 6% of the Democratic primary electorate and breaking for Obama 63-27. Something tells me GOP voters will make up a slightly higher portion than this, but whether it will break for Obama as they suggest is a big question.