Remember back in 2008, when Rush Limbaugh tried to bolster Hillary's flagging campaign to sow discord among Democrats up until Obama had clinched the nomination, that he called Operation Chaos? Could be a little bit of that going on in Iowa and New Hampshire...just from the other side. According to Byron York:
In a hotly-contested Republican race, it appears that only about half of Paul's supporters are Republicans. In Iowa, according to Rasmussen, just 51 percent of Paul supporters consider themselves Republicans. In New Hampshire, the number is 56 percent, according to Andrew Smith, head of the University of New Hampshire poll.
The same New Hampshire survey found that 87 percent of the people who support Romney consider themselves Republicans. For Newt Gingrich, it's 85 percent.
49% of Paul supporters in Iowa are Democrats and Independents? That would be a good thing, if Paul were truly broadening the base. I suspect, however, that every Democrat who votes for Paul in the primary will happily pull the lever for Obama in November.
So who is supporting Paul? In New Hampshire, Paul is the choice of just 13 percent of Republicans, according to the new poll, while he is the favorite of 36 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats who intend to vote in the primary. Paul leads in both non-Republican categories.
"Paul is doing the best job of getting those people who aren't really Republicans but say they're going to vote in the Republican primary," explains Smith. Among that group are libertarians, dissatisfied independents and Democrats who are "trying to throw a monkey wrench in the campaign by voting for someone who is more philosophically extreme," says Smith.
I believe it was cross over voting in open primaries that helped give us John McCain as standard bearer in 2008. If, God forbid, something similar happens next year, there needs to be some major house cleaning in the primary process to limit voting to registered Republican residents of the state.
Cross posted at LCR, Say Anything.
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