Could McCain’s supporters think its safe to switch elections?
An aspect of the US primary system that is probably a surprise to many outside the country is the extent to which in many states independents and supporters of the opposing party can decide to vote in a different election. So today, as we finally arrive at “Super Tuesday”, a factor we have to look at is whether this will happen and how it could affect the results.
So with John McCain holding very comfortable leads over Mitt Romney is there a possibility that his supporters might move over the the Democratic ballot and give their support to either Hillary or Barack? We have seen suggestions of switch-overs in earlier primaries and should we be taking into account the extent to which this might happen today’s elections across half the 22 voting state today where this is possible?
One person who think this could be quite widespread is the prominent former Bill Clinton advisor, Dick Morris, who is now a fierce opponent of the Clintons.
In his eve of poll column he writes that Obama: “….will also benefit from the articles in most papers showing that McCain enjoys a comfortable lead over Romney. With Independents able to vote in either party primary in half of the Super Tuesday states, this information may induce many anti-Hillary voters to back Obama rather than McCain as the most likely way to beat her. They may figure that McCain no longer needs their votes but that Obama needs them badly as he is now within striking distance of victory.”
Certainly there were suggestions that this worked the other way in the New Hampshire primary just four weeks ago. Then Obama might have suffered when some of those planning to support him decided at the last minute to give their vote to McCain following the big poll leads for Obama.
If this happens today it could impact significantly on both parties. John McCain’s vote could be depressed while Barack’s might be enhanced. We shall see.
The latest betting is listed here.