Obamacans vs. Operation Chaos

Well, at least there will be one interesting thing to look for when all the votes have been tallied.

A report in the Indianapolis Star hints that not just Democrats, but Republicans are coming out in droves to vote for who they believe should be the Democratic nominee, which does highlight an interesting rivalry even if the Clinton vs. Obama rivalry has gotten rather stale.

That rivalry would be the Obamacans vs. Operation Chaos.

In earlier open primaries, Obama has enjoyed broad success from unusually high cross over votes, a portion of voters collectively referred to as “Obamacans.”  Ostensibly, these aren’t Republicans that are trying to muck things up for the Democratic party, but are actually Republicans who believe that the message that Obama offers is the right one, and want to see him put in office.

As I said, this population has greatly aided Obama, and further fills in the candidate’s ability to construct unusual political coalitions to win elections.

But with McCain locking up the Republican nomination, open primaries paved the way for Republicans to start voting in the Democratic primary for less reputable reasons.  Without organization, however, such an effort would be rather insignificant as Republican participation would fall to the judgement of individual voters who would each see the race from a different lens.

Republicans can view either candidate as more or less electable and vote accordingly, or there is the idea of prolonging the Democratic primary in which case they might vote differently than had they been voting for whom they thought less electable.

But Rush Limbaugh has come to their rescue to lead the way with his Operation Chaos; a massive call for Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton in the hopes of dragging out the Democratic primary as much as possible.

And so, in Indiana, we may be able to see which movement has more traction.  Not that I think that the answer will ultimately be all that significant; that Clinton herself hasn’t produced a movement of Clintonicans reflects the fact that of the two Democratic candidates she is still the weaker of the two in drawing cross party support.  But at least looking at this phenomenon will provide a blissful break from the larger rivalry that has dominated the political debate for months now.

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