Are All These New Republicans Here To Stay?

When looking at polls one has to be careful about who is being polled. Polls that survey all citizens obtain opinions from many who will not vote. They are not as good as polls from people who are likely to vote and have a history of voting. Party-specific primary polls that obtain opinions from the other political party and Independents are not as accurate as polls who only include registered members of a particular party. This is why some polls are inaccurate. They have a greater removal from reality.

In the Presidential primary and caucus election process there is also some differences that have been accentuated in this election. What we need to realize is that not all Primaries are the same. Some are OPEN, some are CLOSED and some are MIXED or HYBRID.

The National conference of State Legislatures gives us the definitions:

Open Primaries

Eleven states operate open primaries, which permit any registered voter to cast a vote in a primary, regardless of his or her political affiliation. This means that a Democrat could “cross over” and cast a vote in the Republican primary, or vice versa, and an unaffiliated voter can choose either major party’s primary.

Proponents say that this system gives voters maximum flexibility because they can cross party lines. Opponents counter that this system dilutes a political party’s ability to nominate its own candidate without interference from non-members.

Closed Primaries

Eleven states operate closed primary elections or caucuses. In either case, only voters who are registered as members of a political party prior to the primary date may participate in the nomination process for its candidates.

Proponents say that closed systems contribute to a strong party organization. Opponents note that independent or unaffiliated voters are excluded from the process.


Many states use primary election systems that fall somewhere in between “open” and “closed.”  Procedures are unique from state to state, and how to categorize these primaries is a judgment call.  Some states allow voters to cross party lines to vote.  Depending on the state, choosing a ballot may actually be a form of registration in the party.  States in this category also vary according to how they treat unaffiliated voters. They may or may not be permitted to vote in party primaries.


So in the Hybrid or Mixed system, one pathway may allow Independent registered voters to cast a primary ballot in either party of their choice. But Democrats cannot vote in Republican Primaries and vice versa.


The reason that this is so important is, in Open Primaries, one party can influence the nominee of the other party. For instance, let’s say you are a Democrat President that has served your first term of four years and you are up for re-election without any opposition. In an Open Primary then hoards of Democrats can skip their Democrat Primary and go vote in the Republican Primary. Those that do this are called “Crossover Voters.” And Crossover Voters who deliberately try to choose the weakest candidate of the opposing party to make their party’s election easier, are called “Party Raiders.”

The early Primaries contain a larger proportion of OPEN and MIXED Primaries, so you have a great deal of Crossover voting in the early part of the Presidential nominee process. That could mean that early front runners do not really reflect the choice of their Party. They may show more of a general election consensus but remember at this stage the electoral process is only trying to pick Party Nominees. And of course, early on the electoral process could be subject to Dirty Tricks.

So let’s take a look at the chart below, thanks to Maps of the World, and then we can make some conclusions for the Republican Presidential nominee process so far.


Republican Party Presidential Primary and Caucus Schedule See Results


Date State/territory Election Type (Caucus/Primary) Open or Closed Result
Mar 5, 2016 Kansas Caucus Closed NA
Kentucky Caucus Closed NA
Louisiana Primary Closed NA
Maine Caucus Closed NA
Mar 6, 2016 Puerto Rico Primary Open NA
Mar 8, 2016 Hawaii Caucus Closed NA
Idaho Primary Closed NA
Michigan Primary Open NA
Mississippi Primary Open NA
Mar 12, 2016 Guam Territorial convention Closed NA
Washington, D.C. Convention Closed NA
Wyoming Caucus Closed NA
Mar 15, 2016 Florida Primary Closed NA
Illinois Primary Open NA
Missouri Primary Open NA
North Carolina Primary Mixed NA
Northern Mariana Islands Caucus Closed NA
Ohio Primary Mixed NA
Mar 19, 2016 Virgin Islands Caucus Open NA
Mar 22, 2016 American Samoa Territorial convention Open NA
Arizona Primary Closed NA
Utah Caucus Closed NA
Apr 5, 2016 Wisconsin Primary Open NA
Apr 19, 2016 New York Primary Closed NA
Apr 26, 2016 Connecticut Primary Closed NA
Delaware Primary Closed NA
Maryland Primary Closed NA
Pennsylvania Primary Closed NA
Rhode Island Primary Mixed NA
May 3, 2016 Indiana Primary Open NA
May 10, 2016 Nebraska Primary Closed NA
West Virginia Primary Mixed NA
May 17, 2016 Oregon Primary Closed NA
May 24, 2016 Washington Primary Closed NA
Jun 7, 2016 California Primary Closed NA
Montana Primary Open NA
New Jersey Primary Mixed NA
New Mexico Primary Closed NA
South Dakota Primary Closed NA
Completed Primary and Caucus of Republican Party
Feb 1, 2016 Iowa Caucus Closed See Result
Feb 9, 2016 New Hampshire Primary Mixed See Result
Feb 20, 2016 South Carolina Primary Open See Result
Feb 23, 2016 Nevada Caucus Closed See Result
Super Tuesday March 1, 2016 Alabama Primary Open See Result
Alaska Caucus Closed See Result
Arkansas Primary Open See Result
Colorado Caucus Closed NA
Georgia Primary Open See Result
Massachusetts Primary Mixed See Result
Minnesota Caucus Open See Result
North Dakota Caucus Closed NA
Oklahoma Primary Closed See Result
Tennessee Primary Open See Result
Texas Primary Open See Result
Vermont Primary Open See Result
Virginia Primary Open See Result

Donald Trump Debate


Notice that all the Primaries that Ted Cruz won since Iowa, except for his home state of Texas, were CLOSED Primaries. – Alaska & Oklahoma. All the Primaries that he lost were OPEN or MIXED Primaries.

The question really is, how many new people is Donald Trump bringing into the Republican Party? Are they really new Republicans that are going to stay Republicans or are they Crossover voters and Party Raiders? Chances are they are some of both. But don’t get too carried away with all the new Republicans.

Saturday, March 5, 2016, should tell us more about what is really true here. All Republican Primaries for this day are CLOSED Primaries and the only sure bet for Trump is Louisiana. So let’s see how Cruz and Rubio do with the Party faithful only. After that, a clear majority of the Primaries are CLOSED and winner take all. That could present a problem for front-runner Trump.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s