Hey, they’ve run fake Tea Party candidates against us to siphon off votes from Republicans, so I can’t get upset over the fact that Republicans are running “fake” Democrats in the primaries for the Wisconsin special elections in which Republican Senators are targeted.
By requiring Democrats challenging sitting Republican Senators to have a primary, the Republicans bought time for the Senators who have not been able to campaign because the legislature was in session.
But in a move which is reminiscent of Rush Limbaugh’s Operation Chaos, it appears that the rules and timing open up the possibility that the “fake” Democrats could win the primaries, particularly if Republicans show up in force in the open primaries.
As reported by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
But could any of them actually knock off a Democrat in the July 12 primaries, saving a GOP incumbent from having to face a serious challenger in the Aug. 9 general election?
At first glance, it’s not out of the question. And at least one close political observer sees it as a real possibility, though others are skeptical.
There are no GOP primaries that day, so under Wisconsin’s open primary system, Republican voters can cross party lines and vote for the fake Democrats.
And each of the six Senate districts where the primaries will be staged was won by a Republican in 2008, a strong Democratic year, so presumably there are plenty of Republican voters out there.
In addition, says Mordecai Lee, political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the primary elections are likely to have very low voter participation, and low-turnout elections tend to attract more conservative voters than high-turnout races.
The article indicates the likelihoood of success still is low, and that the Wisconsin Republican Party will not be helping the “fake” Democrats. But that does not prevent outside groups from getting involved, or prevent another “Operation Chaos” organized via the radio and blogosphere.
Not that I ever would suggest such a thing, I’m just saying.