2022 – Some Democratic voters attend the Republican primaries to try to block Trump-backed candidates

Former President Donald Trump.

  • An analysis by the Associated Press revealed an unusually high number of so-called cross voters.
  • In Georgia, 37,144 former Democrats voted in the Republican primary.
  • “I firmly believe that our democracy is in danger,” said one voter.

Diane Murray struggled with her decision until Election Day.

But when the time came, the 54-year-old Georgia Democratic candidate voted for Secretary of State Brad Ravensberger in last week’s Republican primary. While state law allowed her to run in either party primaries, she said voting Republican appeared to be a violation of her core values. But it had to be done, she decided, to prevent an “election denier” supported by Donald Trump from becoming the state’s election chief.

said Murray, a professor at the University of California at Georgia and works. “I don’t know if I would ever do it again because I felt like it. I just felt so total.”

Ravensberger, a conservative who refused to support the former president’s direct calls to cancel the 2020 election, likely would not have won the May 24 Republican primary without the likes of Murray.

An Associated Press analysis of early voting records by data company L2 found that more than 37,000 people who voted in Georgia’s Democratic primary two years ago voted in the Republican primary last week, an unusually high number of so-called cross-over voters. Even taking into account the limited sample of early votes, the data shows that cross-sectional voters were instrumental in defeating Trump’s carefully selected candidates for Secretary of State and, to a lesser extent, the governor.

Governor Brian Kemp ultimately didn’t need the Democrats in his landslide victory over his Trump-backed opponent, but Ravensberger may have done it. The Republican secretary of state passed the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff by just over 27,000 votes, according to the latest Associated Press count. Based on early voting data alone, 37,144 former Democrats voted in the Republican primary. The total number of crossovers, including Election Day votes, to be announced in the coming weeks, could be even higher.

Cross voting, also known as strategic voting, is not limited to Georgia this high season as voters from across the political spectrum work to prevent Trump-backed extremists from taking control of state and federal governments. This phenomenon appears in many major contests, sometimes organically and sometimes in response to coordinated efforts by opponents of Trump.

While Trump criticized the practice over the weekend, there is nothing wrong with cross-voting. Dozens of states are making it legal and making it easier for voters to vote in either party primaries. There have been several isolated incidents in which both sides have engaged in strategic alliances over the years.

However, Trump warned conservatives against cross-voting during his campaign Saturday in Wyoming, another state where the former president’s opponents have called on Democrats to intervene — this time to keep Representative Liz Cheney in before rescuing a major challenger with Trump’s support. Cheney, like Ravensburger and Kemp, refused to accept Trump’s lies about the 2020 election. She also voted for his second impeachment after the January 6 uprising.

“Don’t let the Democrats do what they did in another state last week,” Trump told supporters in Wyoming, bemoaning what would happen “if you let the Democrats vote in the Republican primaries.”

While this practice gets Trump’s attention, it is often ineffective.

Trump’s opponents encouraged Democrats to help defeat Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green in last week’s Georgia primary. The espoused voter lied and spoke at an event organized by a white nationalist and won by more than 50 percentage points.

And in some cases, Democrats were focusing too much on their primaries to choose Republicans.

This may have been the case in Pennsylvania, where some Democrats openly encouraged their base to vote for Republican Governor Doug Mastariano, whose extremist views they felt made him more win-win in November.

However, in order to vote in the May 17 Republican primary, voters had to register as Republicans before the contest because Pennsylvania has a “closed primaries” system. On the same day, the Democrats decided their own high-stakes primaries for the Senate.

If Pennsylvania’s advance vote is any indication, few Democrats have responded to the call for a Republican vote.

Among Republican voters who voted early or by mail this year, only 1.7 percent voted for Democrats in the 2020 primaries. Those 2,600 votes, even if eventually backed by more participants on Election Day, might not have changed The scales in the result saw Mastriano beat his nearest rival by nearly 320 thousand.

At the forefront of the intersection movement, Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger, R-Illinois, called for an “uneasy alliance” between Democrats, independents and Republicans to oust pro-Trump candidates in the GOP primaries whenever and wherever possible. Some states have open area codes like Georgia that allow people to vote in either area, while others have more restrictive rules.

In an interview, Kinzinger said he was pleasantly surprised by the Democrats’ response in some of the races. He said he never expected the movement to be “game-breaking” right away.

Kinzinger’s political organization, Country First, has targeted thousands of former Georgia Democrats with mail and text messages urging them to support Raffensperger in favor of democracy.

The “state first” text message widely distributed to Georgia voters in the days leading up to the election read: “Don’t wait until the general election to pursue extremism. In Republican elementary school, vote for the candidate who supports truth and democracy.”

Kinzinger’s team has also been active in the closely watched North Carolina congressional campaign in North Carolina’s 11th district, where voters ousted new pro-Trump Rep. Madison Cawthorne in the Republican primary.

As in the case of Georgia, the Associated Press noted that a large proportion of the early Republican vote was cast by voters who ran in the Democratic primary two years earlier. Specifically, more than 14% of the 38,000 early or absentee ballots in the Cawthorne race — more than 5,400 voters — came from the 2020 Democratic primary voter.
Cawthorne lost his primary by less than 1,500 votes.

Back in Georgia, the Ravensburger team pushed the idea of ​​winning the Republican primary because of the Democrats. The team noted that a number of opposing voters were in fact Republicans who voted Democrats in protest of Trump in recent years.

“It’s clear that Brad Ravensberger got the majority of the Republican vote here in Georgia and that there are people who stopped voting in the Republican primaries after 2016 and are now back in business,” said Jordan Fox. Raffinsberger campaign.

An Associated Press investigation of pre-Trump voting records showed that at least some of the 37,000 party changers in Georgia in 2022 were in the Republican camp before Trump took office. According to second-tier data, about 9,000 to 13,000 voted for the Republican in the 2010, 2012, and 2014 primaries.

Trump’s allies in the state, who were surprised by the direction of the intersection, were incensed.

“It was a Democratic version of ‘Operation Chaos,'” said Debbie Dooley, chair of the Atlanta Tea Party, referring to the Nixon-era covert pressure to infiltrate liberal groups. “I didn’t realize how much the Democrats had turned.”

Dooley began a petition late last week to close the Republican primary in Georgia to non-Republicans. More than a dozen states have closed or partially closed primary elections refusing the participation of members of opposing parties.

Meanwhile, Kinzinger said he is already working on plans to implement a similar guide in the upcoming primaries in Michigan, Wyoming and Alaska. Besides supporting Senator Lisa Murkowski, the Alaskan Republican who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment, Kinzinger said he is considering whether to invest resources in an effort to win over former Governor Sarah Palin’s bid in Congress to obstruct Congress.

“Donald Trump came in and took the lead in the Republican Party with nationalism,” Kinzinger said. “The American people have every right to choose who they represent in the congressional district, and if that is in the primaries, then in the primaries. If they want to restore the Republican Party from the liar, they can do it, and I will certainly help them.”
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Peoples reported from New York. Associated Press writers Jeff Amy in Atlanta and Jill Colvin in New York contributed to this report.

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