Could Democrats and Independents actually pick the GOP nominee for President?

The Republican field of candidates for the White House is both wide and deep, a baker’s dozen,  and happily dominated by conservatives to a large extent. For the first time since 1980, we are on the cusp of picking a candidate with solid conservative credentials.

It is also more than possible that Democrats and independents will play a key, if not decisive role in picking the GOP nominee in 2016.

The candidates will first face off in several debates, and also demonstrate their ability to fund raise.  This will winnow the field to some extent. Then comes the three early contests..the Iowa caucus, and then the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries.

I am discounting the Iowa caucus, as it is more a function of organizational ability than a demonstration of popular support.

However, the problem is that the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries are both OPEN, in that you do not have to be a registered Republican to vote in them.

And given that, baring any damaging scandal revelations, Hillary Clinton is likely to be unopposed; well…the potential for mischief is rife. And there does not appear to be any likelihood of a contested Democrat race (in either state) for any down ballot contest that would negate that outcome.

One caveat: In NH, registered Democrats cannot vote in the GOP primary; however you can easily change your designation to independent, and then switch back the next day.

In 2012, there were about 240,000 votes cast in the NH GOP primary. In SC, the number was 480,000. There were some 110,000 votes in the GOP Iowa caucus.

It is more than possible that we could begin the primary season with 5-6 candidates all polling between 15-20%.  No one breaks out of the pack early on. Whoever wins the early contests will do so by a plurality; and probably a slim one.


So, if 30,000 or so NH independents, and Dems (who switch for the day) support one candidate, they can deliver that person a win, and severely weaken the prospects of several others, likely the most conservative in the field..

If 60,000 South Carolina independents and Democrats can “coalesce” behind one GOP candidate, they can probably determine the outcome..giving that candidate a boost, and more importantly, likely hurting the chances of several other conservatives.

And should you think this scenario is implausible, if not totally incredulous, I would remind you that in 2010, in the SC Democrat primary, Alvin Green won, getting 100,00 votes. In the general election, against Jim DeMint, Greene garnered 365,000 votes.

If that many people in South Carolina can be somehow persuaded to vote for someone like an Alvin Greene; surely it won’t be hard to convince a mere 60,000 to vote for one particular Republican.

Multiple contributors here at RS have spoken endlessly how how we conservatives need to recapture the Republican party. It would seem that one of the first steps we must take is to insist on closed primaries.