3/7/14, "Mississippi Senate, Congressional races could reignite open versus closed primary debate," yallpolitics.com, Frank Corder
"Mississippi has open primaries, meaning voters of any affiliation can
vote in the primary of any party without declaring or registering with
The main concern with open primaries has long been "crossover" voting,
Democrats voting in a Republican primary (or vice versa) to influence
the nominee in hopes of putting their candidate or party in a better
position heading into the general election.
This has been a point of speculation in this year's Mississippi U.S.
Senate race. You could make the case that Democrats will crossover to
help hand Thad Cochran a win since they cannot stomach the alternative
or rather ensure that Chris McDaniel defeats Cochran to give their
candidate of choice, Travis Childers, a better shot in November.
Some Mississippians feel a closed primary system would help prevent such political antics.
Closed primaries only allow voters who are registered with a party to vote in that party's primary....
(Democrat Congressman) Thompson continued, "Why, if I were a card-carrying Republican, would I
want to vote in the Democratic primary in the first place unless I
wanted to influence who would be the Democratic candidate? It's not
their business to pick the Democratic candidate. If you want to pick a
Democratic candidate, then be a Democrat."
Many are asking similar questions this year, but on the opposite side of the aisle....
Democrats don't plan to revisit closed primaries anytime soon.
But in all honesty, why would they?
As the minority party in Mississippi they are in a prime position to
influence Republican nominees if they can encourage enough crossover
voters in upcoming primaries. In essence they can sabotage Republicans
at the ballot box and never have to raise a dime, fire a shot, or get
their hands dirty....
Whether or not crossover votes will ultimately impact the 2014 Senate
and Congressional races remains to be seen, but one thing is sure:
Republicans stand to lose far more than Democrats with open primaries."