YOU CAN VOTE IN EITHER PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY … BUT NOT BOTH
Much to the chagrin of party purists on both sides of the aisle (a.k.a. the same side of bipartisan big government), South Carolina has an “open” primary system. That means Democratic and “Republican” voters do not have to register by their party affiliation … and can cast ballots across the aisle (again, to the extent anyone is dumb enough to believe there’s still an “aisle” to be crossed).
What are they not allowed to do, though?
Vote in both the GOP and Democratic presidential primaries – which are scheduled for February 20 and February 27, respectively.
If you cast a ballot in the GOP primary on Saturday (for Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, John Kasich or Ben Carson), you will not be able vote the following weekend for either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
Frankly, we don’t get why this restriction is in place. This isn’t a general election – in which you really do have to pick one candidate over the others. There are two specific questions on the table:
Who do you want to be the “Republican” presidential nominee?
Who do you want to be the Democratic presidential nominee?
This is a pure “preference” question – which is why the word preference is in the official title of both these upcoming elections.
No really …
The election scheduled for February 20 is called the South Carolina Republican Presidential Preference Primary, while the one on tap for the following week is called the South Carolina Democratic Presidential Preference Primary.
In other words it’s not about which candidate you like … or which candidate you think would do a better job. It is about which candidate you prefer. And last time we checked, people can have multiple preferences … and they ought to be allowed to express those preferences as they see fit in non-exclusive elections.
Obviously this website endorsed the “First in the South” presidential candidacy of Donald Trump – although our nod was more an indictment of the GOP establishment and embrace of the populist angst he’s channeling than anything else. On the Democratic side, we selfishly want Bernie Sanders to win because we believe his candidacy would spark a more honest, substantive debate in a general election.
Seriously … Clinton versus an establishment “Republican?” What a scripted contest that would be. A friggin’ infomercial for crony capitalism and political correctness. We also want Sanders in the general because we believe it’s about time the Democratic nominee was in name what he’s been in practice … a socialist.
So we’re “Trumpkins” also looking to “Feel the Bern.”
Why shouldn’t we be allowed to do that?