September 21, 2005

Re: Chafee Wants Democrats to Select Republican Candidates

Justin Katz

That's an interesting circle the "Chafee forces" are hoping to square, Andrew. On one hand, they don't want anybody to believe that Laffey is electable. On the other hand, they want Democrats to cross over for the primaries in order to ensure the nomination of the Republican candidate who can (the Chafee folks believe) beat the victor of the Democrats' own primary!

I wonder if Laffey's advisers have developed any rough drafts of ads encouraging Democrats to cross over in the hopes of nominating the (supposed) least electable Republican.

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Heck, Justin, I'll give it a shot. Since Nicks has already said that Chafee is the sort of Republican that Rhode Island likes , ie; he's a RINO, then the party-building apparatus, or tactic, they will use will reflect this dynamic. Many RINO's, Democrats and others, will be voting for Chafee in the Republican primary. Of course, as you suggest, it could very well backfire if they think Laffey will be easier to defeat. It's a dangerous gambit, to be sure.

Posted by: Marc Comtois at September 21, 2005 7:31 PM

{Rod Serling voice on} Submitted for your consideration {Rod Serling voice off}.

In the penultimate paragraph of his WP item, Cillizza states that the Toomey Team registered Democrats and independents in Pennsylvania. In the final paragraph, he mentions only Democrats as the objects of Chafee's pursuit.

Bad editing? Or something more?

Posted by: Andrew at September 21, 2005 7:49 PM

Of course Chafee is trying to get both Democrats and independents to vote in the GOP primary. Laffey is also attempting to attract Democrats and independents by attacking oil companies, drug costs and the Republican Party. They're not rough drafts of ads, they're already on the air!

Posted by: Anthony at September 21, 2005 11:13 PM

One clarification I might make is this: Chafee wants Democrats to "cross-over" for the purpose of throwing the Republican primary his way, much like what Gary Reilly quite unsuccessfully attempted to do in the 2004 Cranston GOP primary.
Laffey wants people that are Democrats and Independents, whose individual views actually best agree with the principles of the Republican Party, and not of the Democrat Party to become Republicans, not just for the election, but permanently! Some of the greatest Republicans have been former Democrats!
As for the RNC guy saying, "Chafee is the sort of Republican that Rhode Island likes," this is the kind of elitist "we know better than you do" attitude that irks people like Laffey (and me!), and only tends to embolden him to work even harder for every vote.
I have a revolutionary idea ... how about we let Republican voters determine the Republican nominee?!

Posted by: Will at September 22, 2005 1:20 AM