Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Closed Doors and Open Tents

There is an interesting wrinkle in California's primary, very likely to be moved up to February 5, 2008. The Republican primary will be closed to registered Republicans only, whereas the Democrats will allow registered independents to vote in their primary.

California's registration statistics show a large number of independent voters in the state--43% Democrat, 34% Republican, 19% Independent, 4% other. I will leave it to the political scientists on the blog to comment on the potential impact of the semi-open vs. closed primaries for the two major parties in the upcoming Presidential contest.


Raised By Republicans said...

This is a smart thing to do for the Democrats. The California Republican party activists are outliers in California politics (and increasingly in national politics as well). By closing their primary, the GOP will be ensuring more support for the most conservative candidates (and probably with heavy religious conservative overtones). As I've said before, I don't think the mood of country is such that it will go for another Evangelical conservative candidate.

By letting independents in, the Democrats are pulling their primary to the center. Of course the center in California is to the left of most of the country but if the Democratic Party closes their primary as well, the result might be a increased support for far left candidate that would have less chance of winning in the general.

There's also the PR bonus of looking more inclusive and open minded than the Republicans. That's something that could be an issue in 2008. Especially with the US Attorney firing scandal that's about to boil over.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Also, by letting independents vote in the Democratic party primary, it encourages them to identify themselves as Democrats later on. It also means that many independents will have likely already cast a ballot for the ultimate Democratic nominee, which makes it much, much easier to get them to do so a second time.