The Republican Cross-Over Vote: Not a Factor

There are new articles today in the Dallas News and the Cleveland Plain Dealer on the Republican cross-over vote (Dems for a Day)and whether it had any effect on the outcome. Some Obama supporters would have you believe that it was of such significance as to result in Obama's loss in those states.

In Ohio, the article says there were 16,000 cross-over votes in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland.) The article talks about Rush Limbaugh urging Republicans to vote for Hillary, but of those interviewed in the article, one Republican voted for Hillary and one for Obama. They had different opinions on who would be better able to beat McCain. Obama won by 23,000 votes in Cuyahoga. Effect of the cross-over vote on the election: none shown and it's not even determinable which candidate they voted for.

In an opinion piece, the co-author of the Dallas News article, Wayne Slater, shows how the effect was negligible on Hillary's Texas win. [More...]

Hillary would have won both states without the the cross-over vote. Again, there's no telling whether the Republicans voted for her or Obama. Most likely, some went for Obama while others went for Hillary.

What's interesting to me is that it's a felony in Ohio to a voter to lie on a voter registration form. The law in Ohio is that voters can register with a party on the day of the election but,

.... they must sign a pledge card vowing allegiance to their new party. Lying on the pledge is a felony, punishable by six to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

So, did Rush aid and abet a felony?

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    I'd say it was less than negligible (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Teresa on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:36:49 PM EST
    since Obmam won the Republican vote 53-46 in Texas. It's really funny to read his supporters complain about crossover votes.

    Obama, sorry for the typing. (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Teresa on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:38:20 PM EST
    Those numbers are based on exit polls.

    Doesn't prove much (none / 0) (#18)
    by muffie on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:22:09 PM EST
    The fact that crossover voters didn't influence the fact that Hillary would have won is pretty indisputable.  However, the question of Limbaugh's effect is whether that margin of victory is lower than it would have been otherwise.  For instance, compare to Wisconsin Republicans, breaking 72-28 Obama.  

    In my opinion, this just shows that Wisconsin Republicans are different from ones in Texas.  Generally, the sample sizes for Republican voters are very small, but for "somewhat" or "very" conservative voters, the preferred candidate does vary from state to state.  However, to state, as Wayne Slater does, that this proves the Limbaugh effect "didn't happen" is sloppy analysis.


    Aww, I see, the more Republicans (none / 0) (#22)
    by Teresa on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:40:39 PM EST
    voting, the better, as long as they vote for Obama.

    You misinterpret what I said (none / 0) (#41)
    by muffie on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 04:07:46 PM EST

    1. It's not clear if Limbaugh had a measurable effect on TX voting.  My personal opinion is no, but one would need to do more research/polling/etc.
    2. It is clear that Hillary would have won regardless.
    3. In fact, I believe (but haven't checked carefully) that the number of Republicans voting in Democratic primaries is insufficient to have changed to outcome of any single state.  Of course, it affected the margin in some states.

    For the record, I think open primaries are a bad idea.  I do like semi-closed, where independents can vote provided they agree to register Democratic, but Republicans can not.

    I don't care who they voted for (none / 0) (#39)
    by Rick B on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 03:53:08 PM EST
    I ran three precincts last Tuesday in Texas. Four years ago, five of us were the caucuses for the three precincts. Tuesday I had nearly 200 people at the Caucuses. There are about 300 total voters counting both early voters and the ones from earlier in the day. That's five or six times normal for a primary, even when there is an important candidate at the top.

    If there were any Republicans there, I sure couldn't identify them. It was mostly Black, Hispanic, and some White working class. With that kind of turnout, any cross-overs were swamped. And Republicans here dress better. They are noticeable.

    The Republicans had about 45 voters, and none for caucuses. You had to have voted in the Democratic Primary to participate in the caucuses, and we checked.

    Just because Limbaugh says something doesn't make it become reality. I'm looking forward to the general election.


    Sabotage voters (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:38:02 PM EST
    always have been more myth than reality.

    There simply aren't enough people that motivated about politics that are also willing to EVER identify themselves as the other party.  

    One of the people I had over for dinner (none / 0) (#6)
    by kredwyn on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:44:34 PM EST
    the other night said that he'd planned on being one of those sabotage voters.

    But he screwed up with the "switch affiliation" form and missed the deadline.


    Am confused... (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by kredwyn on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:41:45 PM EST
    I thought that the Obama supporters were very excited about bringing Republicans into the fold and calling them "Obamacans."

    Now they're claiming that Republicans are the reason Obama lost OH?

    Indy and Repub voters are only good (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by plf1953 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:59:28 PM EST
    if they vote for Obama.  They they are then anointed as Obamacans.

    If they vote for Hillary, they are obviously Hillarywills and are, therefore, evil doers.

    Make sense now?


    This little part of the DMN article (5.00 / 6) (#5)
    by RalphB on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:44:04 PM EST
    caught my attention.  It would appear that more of Obama's supporters are not Democrats or not diligent voters at least.  I also would seem to make them less likely to come back for the vote in November.

    "Backers of both Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton turned out with passionate support for their candidate in last week's Texas primary. But once they got in the voting booth, they did something different.

    Obama supporters were more likely to vote in the presidential race and then skip the other contests than Clinton supporters, who tended to continue voting down the ballot, a Dallas Morning News analysis finds."

    Exactly, Many of us here have been (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:07:47 PM EST
    saying -- downticket, downticket, downticket.

    We do not need another Dem White House without a Dem Congress -- not those of us who can remember a really rather recent previous millennium, i.e., the '90s.

    Every House seat is up this time.  Every one.


    But also... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Oje on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:15:07 PM EST
    According to the 50-state master plan, Obama will supposedly rebuilding the local Democratic party in red states. That general argument is smoked by this article, though it may be true in particular states.

    Texas and Ohio have really turned out to be narrative giant killers. The logic of an Obama candidacy forward by his strategists for superdelegates have taken quite a few lumps in the past week. They will be forced to make entirely new arguments to support Obama or speak as if there is no evidence to the contrary.


    And about party-building (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 03:41:16 PM EST
    we had a bit of a thread going here yesterday about this, in answer to the usual claim about caucuses being party-building.  It's stated over and over, but no one ever seems to have evidence it is so.  And caucuses with such turnouts really haven't been seen until this year, so how could there be evidence of it?

    I think it is a Dean-and-Brazile-and-Kos theory -- because they're the ones I see saying it -- that is only that.  And this election is their laboratory.  Heaven help us.


    As I stated yesterday on that other thread (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 04:03:00 PM EST
    in my opinion congressional races are better suited for party building because they tend to deal with local issues voters care for in addition to the national core issues.  When you build from the foundation up you end up with a better structure.

    "Narrative giant-killers" (none / 0) (#35)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 03:33:19 PM EST
    is such a good phrase.  And Oje, I am among others here who so enjoy your thoughtful analyses.  Thanks!

    Wow... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Oje on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:59:01 PM EST
    Another Obama bubble bursts. Add to this the fact that he is no stronger in red states or swing states than Clinton, it now seems possible that he has contingent of low information or non-partisan voters who will not vote down ticket.

    The Clinton campaign should really should research the propensity for Obama voters to do this in previous contests. The absence of an Obama coattail is so striking, that I think the numbers are worth adding to RalphB's comment, especially for Dallas County:

    "More than 80 percent of Democratic voters in the Texas counties where Mrs. Clinton had her largest victory margins went on to vote in the U.S. Senate race, the leading statewide contest on the ballot after the presidential race. By contrast, only 71 percent of voters in Mr. Obama's strongest counties did.

    In Dallas County, where Mr. Obama got nearly two-thirds of the vote, the falloff was nearly 30 percent."


    We saw this in Wisconsin (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 03:37:57 PM EST
    although only in Milwaukee, I think, as we had local races as well.  Usually, of course, those get a big turnout, because nothing matters more than whether garbage is getting picked up (or whether streets are getting plowed, a volatile topic this awful winter).

    But we saw, instead, a lot of dropoff downticket this time.  That's when I started writing here about this concern (or maybe a bit before our primary, I think, as I started to think more about this in some other state with a significant open seat in Congress).  

    I wonder if it was surfacing at all in reports from earlier states, too?  At least it has surfaced now.  Good.  Congress matters.  And as so many super-delegates are in Congress, they know that and probably have been watching it for a while.


    If it was in the newspapers, (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Oje on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 04:59:29 PM EST
    I could not find a link to an analysis of Wisconsin results with at quick google search. But, I found it interesting how prevalent the Obama downticket argument has been from a google search of "obama downticket". Hopefully, the Texas research will get a few more local and state papers substantively examining the untested claims of Obama's surrogates.

    And, thanks for the note above, I feel the same about your posts at TalkLeft. I was going to write more, but it would be off-topic. Maybe we can get the head honchos to start a (or another?) "how I came to be a reader/poster at TalkLeft during this primary" thread...


    It wasn't a factor in Texas (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by IVR Polls on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:20:52 PM EST
    but it might have been if Limbaugh hadn't pushed for crossover votes for Clinton. In my 2/20 poll, Obama had a net benefit of about 4 points from voters who said they would vote for him in the primary, but would vote against him in the general. I didn't ask this directly - I asked about general election matchups first and the primary several questions later. My 3/2 polling had an increase in one day crossovers for Clinton and a decrease for Obama, making the end result either a wash or a slight benefit for Obama. My model predicted a 3.2 point lead for Clinton, pretty close to the 3.5 actual, so I don't think I'm entirely off base.

    3/2 poll

    that is in play.
    The type of moderate GOP leaning voter who will vote for Obama....(and/ or McCain) but will never vote for Hillary.
    To me this is THE most compelling reason Barak should get the support of the superduperdelegatescoopers

    There are plenty in each (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:57:42 PM EST
    cell of that crossover matrix

    Those who would  vote for McCain Obama, not Hillary

    Those who would vote for McCain, Hillary, not Obama.

    Those who would vote for Hillary, Obama, not McCain.

    To think that so many fall into your chosen category and not the others is inconsistent with reality.


    And purely faith-based ... (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by plf1953 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:01:58 PM EST
    Would hate to be running a campaign based on faith and hope alone as Obama is doing / has done.

    Unfortunately all this voters are in the... (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:59:55 PM EST
    ...conjecture category because we won't know what they did until after the GE.

    Will VOte for Obama (none / 0) (#8)
    by plf1953 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 01:56:20 PM EST
    in the primary, but not the GE.

    If you have evidence to the contrary, please produce it.

    IMO, they will likely vote McCain in the GE.

    So, there vote should be discounted altogether in the primary, no?


    I Voted GW in 2000....as did Most of my Family/ (none / 0) (#15)
    by TearDownThisWall on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:12:21 PM EST
    many friends(needless to say we are all very dispointed in Bush these days, and view IRAQ as a terrible, costly, deadly mistake)
    The greater point is this-
    For what ever reason.....we all dislike Hillary. Some of the reasons are very emotional (like the silly "who woud you rather have over to Babecue " stuff), and some of the reasons are "haven't we as a county had enough of the Clintons and Bushes"-but for what ever reason....most every one I know, who voted for Bush...all have said, they would consider Obama....and wouldn't vote for Hillary ever.
    This is anecdotial for sure....but I sense Obama to be another Reagan, in being able to attract supporters fro the "other" party

    Regardless of your reasons for not voting (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by plf1953 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:35:28 PM EST
    for Hillary, do you think that any one should value the opinion of anyone who voted for Bush in 2000 (or 2004)?

    And whos best reason for voting for Obama is to NOT vote for Hillary, with no real reason-based argument for this?

    Why not look at the candidates for who they are and what they believe and what they've done to demonstrate what they believe and make a reasoned judgment instead of this gut-checking BS?

    The country needs more / better than this.

    PS.  Obama another Reagan?  Heaven help us on this one if indeed its true.  


    I have looked at ALL Candidates Closely (none / 0) (#23)
    by TearDownThisWall on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:47:12 PM EST
    and I see that it's time for someone knew in the whitehouse.
    as mentioned earlier.....enough with the Bushes and Clintons.
    as well....I would ask you on Hillary....what are her top 3 accomplishmnents....in other words- what has she done, specifically, to enable her to say she is more "qualified" to be President than Barak?

    thanks in advance for your answer on Hillary's specific accoplishmnents


    You're entitle to your opinion... (5.00 / 7) (#25)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:54:28 PM EST
    ..but if I wanted to make sure that I was voting for whomever most Republicans were voting for, I'd just vote for the Republican candidate.

    HAhaha (none / 0) (#27)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:55:14 PM EST
    YOu are on a roll...

    LOL, after I posted that... (none / 0) (#29)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 03:00:00 PM EST
    ...I was worried that somebody was going to accuse me of planning to vote for McCain.

    "voting for whomever most Republicans (none / 0) (#30)
    by TearDownThisWall on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 03:02:19 PM EST
    were voting for"?
    In case you have not noticed...so far-Barak is LEADING Hillary in the dem party nomination votes cast in the primaries and caucuses so far.

    The point I am making is that he -I THINK- is more likely to pick off moderates and dis illusioned GOPers compared to Hillary getting that support


    The phrase (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 03:07:25 PM EST
    Your phrase "so far" is the stickler here I think.  We've got big states ahead -- Penn and YES, FLORIDA.  And no more caucuses.

    He may be more likely to pick off "moderates," but he himself have disillusioned enough Democrats (me, for instance, I absolutely don't trust him) that it may not matter.


    "has disillusioned" (none / 0) (#32)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 03:08:17 PM EST
    sorry about the typo.  I'll blame it on the Maxalt (migraine med).


    please....i ask-
    what has Hillary accomplished - compared to Obama?


    This is a very old subject (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 03:25:56 PM EST
    Do some research.  SCHIP would be a place to start.

    Also, do you really, really think that given that your family wouldn't vote for Hillary that there isn't also a contingent that wouldn't vote for Obama?  Do you really think that only Hillary divides? that maybe Obama might also divide?

    Exit polls say Hillary gets Democrats.  


    Someone knew [sic] in the whitehouse ... (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by plf1953 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 04:20:03 PM EST
    Listen, I'm not the one saying that I will vote for someone because of who they're not or because we've had "enough with the Bushes and Clintons."

    These are the lamest of reasons to vote for Obama, wouldn't you agree?

    If you care to learn more about Hillary, go to Hillary's website, such as to this page, you will see what some of her accomplishments are http://www.hillaryclinton.com/about/senator/
    or go here http://votehillary.org/CMS/Bio
    or here http://www.propeller.com/viewstory/2008/01/15/33-accomplishments-by-sen-hillary-clinton/?url=http%3A %2F%2Fhillaryclintonnews.blogspot.com%2F2008%2F01%2Fwhat-is-sen-clintons-experience.html&frame=t rue
    or her wikipedia biography here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton

    or you can dig through her record in the senate on your own.

    But more than these facts, I have watched Hillary for 16+ years and feel I know her. I at least know what she believes and stands for.

    This is why I support Hillary.

    Can you say the same about Obama?


    Two things... (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by kredwyn on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:38:56 PM EST
    First, instead of continuing to follow that gut-think [e.g. "Some of the reasons are very emotional (like the silly 'who woud you rather have over to Babecue' stuff)"], you might consider doing a self-examination of what you believe and why...then do your research to figure out what the real story was vs. the myth. I'd rec that you go over and read the Daily Howler for an in-depth analysis of the news and how the various and sundry narratives spun out.

    I have found that anyone who says that "they won't vote for X" have bought--hook, line, and sinker--a whole host of innuendo and pablum.

    As for the BBQ thing, I'm not hiring a drinking buddy. I'm hiring a President. And if she or he can run the country and get us out of Iraq in a quick, safe, and reasonable manner, I could care less what kind of party animal that candidate is.

    Thanks, in part to y'all, we got the "who can you have a beer with" president. And in the end we got a guy who has no problem vetoing a ban on waterboarding.

    Do I think that Obama would do the same? No.

    However, I do think that the whole voting based on an emo argument about the BBQ attender...sucks.

    Second, just because a moderate Republican might vote for Obama up ticket...that doesn't mean that they will vote Dem down ticket.

    And frankly, there is no actual proof that they will vote Dem when it comes to the General Election.


    Reagan was talented (none / 0) (#28)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:55:27 PM EST
    in that he kept his base AND recruited the other side.

    Hillary is taking the base in the primary.  Obama could very well lose enough of the base in the general to lose the election.


    So, did Rush aid and abet a felony? (none / 0) (#17)
    by jerry on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:16:25 PM EST
    I know you're joking (you're joking right?), but much as I dislike Limbug, I'd hate to think that this example of speech was construed by anyone as aiding and abetting a crime.

    Funny How The Dems For A Day That Voted (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:38:33 PM EST
    for Obama in other states were just fine with his supporters. Also, there was a Dems For A Day effort for Obama going on in Texas.

    Dems For A Day For Obama = Great For The Country And The Democratic Party
    Dems For A Day For Clinton = Felony


    Is anyone keeping a FAQ (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:52:21 PM EST
    of Obama rules?  If not, I may just have to start one.

    Not a bad idea. ;-) nt (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 02:55:03 PM EST
    Doesn't really matter anyway (none / 0) (#38)
    by chemoelectric on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 03:50:50 PM EST
    Doesn't really matter. "Winning" is bogus in these things, and there is no such thing as "momentum" going on here; it's not a good analogy. It may be true that some superdelegates delayed announcing their support for Obama, but Obama is going to be the nominee, and perhaps Hillary Clinton wants to twist his arm into taking her on as VP nominee. I hope that's the case, because what other people are saying is that Clinton wants to help McCain win so she can run for the Dem nomination in 2012.

    But if Gary Hart feels comfortable speculating for public consumption that Hillary Clinton might be disloyal not only to the party but to the nation, there really isn't much chance she's attracting more superdelegates than she's driving away.

    Plus I think the "Obama needs to win big states vs. Clinton" is bogus, because all it would mean is that primary voters in those big states liked Clinton a bit more than Obama, if having to choose between them; whether those states will go Dem or GOP in the autumn is only a vaguely related question.

    (There is one more possible motivation for Clinton, which is that she is going to slime Obama badly enough that she can then say "I have slimed this guy so badly that you are left with no choice but me." Actually as I was writing this Sam Seder just mentioned the same thing to his audience, and I think he said this was what he believed. I suppose that's better than trying to throw the election to McCain, which Randi Rhodes said she believed, last Friday.)

    If Rush Can't Effect GOP Outcome (none / 0) (#44)
    by john horse on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 06:41:38 PM EST
    If Rush Limbaugh and his bloviating friends can't effect the GOP outcome then why does anyone think they can effect the Democrats?

    To borrow a line from Willy S. Rush is full of hot air and fury signifying nothing.