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Another GOP step towards oblivion August 22, 2009

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.
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The Republican party of California, the most-populous state in the US, is taking another step in its drive towards irrelevancy. The conservatives who now dominate the state GOP, as they do the national one, are putting into their bylaws that any primary vote will be restricted only to registered party members. These narrow-minded zealots already had chosen to do so in presidential primaries. Now that will extend to primaries for the statewide offices of US senator, governor, et cetera.

They say it is not right to have independents having a say in choosing their candidates. OK, fine, if conservative party purity is your goal. But the realities of voting dynamics give away the 30+ % of voters who are registered as independents. Democratic candidates will be heard from and paid attention to by independents several months earlier. Name recognition is a key voter inducement. Those independents who vote in the Democratic primaries are much more likely to stick with that candidate. Personal loyalty to a decision made, inertia, and choosing between the familiar versus a new, unknown Republican candidate mean that the bulk of that 30 % will vote Democratic. Since the GOP already trails the Democrats in registered voters, they are gauranteeing that their candidates start off 15 % to 30 % behind any Democrat.

This hidebound stubbornness just shows that the US is ripe for a third-party movement if that party is moderate and flexible – and no egocentric efforts by the Ross Perots of America, please.

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