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January 31, 2006

A Good And Proper Move

I’ve long rejected the notion of open primaries. After all, why should members of one party have a voice in the selection of another party’s candidates? That is rather like giving the Buddhists a voice in selecting the Pope.

In two states, the GOP has taken steps to tighten-up their nominating process. This could doom a McCain run for the presidency, as the two states, Michigan and Washingon, were both strong for John McCain in 2000 because of cross-over voters.

Republicans in states that gave Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) victories or near victories in the 2000 GOP presidential primaries are looking to bar non-Republicans from voting in their primaries in 2008, which would make it even more difficult for the Arizonan to win the nomination should he run in two years.

Michigan’s Republican Party Central Committee more than a week age approved a plan that calls for holding the Republican and Democratic primaries on the same day, forcing voters to cast ballots in either a Republican or Democratic primary but not both, GOP executive director Saul Anuzis said in an interview.

The expectation is that there will be fewer so-called crossover ballots if voters can only participate in one primary, Anuzis added.

The GOP head must now confer with his Democratic counterpart, Mark Brewer. Democrats are thought to support the change.

In Washington state, where Republicans chose the presidential nominee in 2000 through a combination of local caucuses and a statewide primary, the party is looking to shift more power to the caucuses.

Traditionally, conservative activists, from abortion opponents to gun-rights proponents, have dominated caucuses, in Washington and elsewhere.

“Pat Robertson won every caucus state in 1988 except Iowa,” said Chris Vance, who recently stepped down as Washington state’s GOP chairman and managed Sen. Bob Dole’s 1988 presidential campaign.

In both Michigan and Washington, the people deciding who should be the next president of the United States are almost certain to be, as a whole, more conservative than the people who did so in 2000.

And lest liberals raise a fuss, consider this – do you really want me and my fellow GOPers coming over to the Democrat primary to vote for Joe Lieberman?





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