New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu raised eyebrows in an interview on Thursday when he said that South Carolina’s open primary system would benefit Nikki Haley as a GOP presidential candidate, whom he had endorsed. This would allow Democrats to vote for Haley in the Palmetto State Republican primary, which will take place on February 24th.
On @thepulseofnh this AM, @GovChrisSununu notes that SC primary is “even more open” than #FITN.
“In South Carolina, if you’re a Democrat, you can just walk in the door and vote. So there is a lot of opportunity there” for @NikkiHaley in #SouthCarolinaPrimary @NHGOP
— NH Journal (@NewHampJournal) January 25, 2024
Fairly, there are many conservative Democrats who will vote Republican in southern states such as South Carolina.
Sununu’s advocacy for Democrat interference in the South Carolina Primary among Democrats who dislike Trump was evident.
Sununu’s advocacy for a similar approach in South Carolina’s primary, which he described as “even more open than New Hampshire’s” was not surprising, given that Haley’s New Hampshire numbers were higher than expected due to a large number of independents and unaffiliated voters who voted in her favor.
The suggestion was not well received by Republicans, including Florida Governor. Ron DeSantis ended his campaign for president on Sunday and endorsed Trump.
DeSantis wrote Friday on Twitter that “Democrats voting during a Republican Primary should not be viewed as an opportunity” for a candidate who is serious about winning a large number of Republican voters. His state has closed primaries.
Why would Republicans want their nominations to be influenced by the opposing party? He continued to question rhetorically.
It makes no sense, despite the conservative southern Democrat element, to support a Dem version of “Operation Chaos”, as every Democrat who votes this way to try to derail the nomination for another candidate will not vote for them in the general elections. Period.
Even those who were well-intentioned on my “side” of the aisle have made the argument that yes, a Republican will need more than Republican voters to win a primary election.
Rock-ribbed Democrats are indeed “helping” to pick the Republican candidate in the primaries to make the path for the eventual Democratic nominee more straightforward.
Republican-controlled state governments in states that allow open primaries have repeatedly had opportunities to change this system over the years but haven’t. Expect more Democrat interference in GOP primaries until it happens. Even some Republicans, like Sununu and twice-failed presidential nominee Chris Christie, will openly support this.