Much of the nation’s attention is focused on today’s New Hampshire Democrat primary. Not Joe Biden’s (D-DE), however, as he has given up the Granite State and is heading to South Carolina.

Calling himself the “underdog” now, Biden must win South Carolina to remain even remotely viable in the Democrat presidential nominating contest.

South Carolina Republicans are well aware of this fact and also of the growing concerns among Democrats of a possible Bernie nomination. They have launched Operation Chaos for South Carolina’s February 29th Democrat primary.

The Post and Courier reports:

A group of prominent Upstate Republicans is preparing to launch a wide-scale effort this week to encourage GOP voters across South Carolina to vote for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Feb. 29 Democratic primary, The Post and Courier has learned.

The Republican plan to impact the Democratic race, emerging just weeks before the “First in the South” primary, has two goals: Boost the candidate who the Republicans believe presents the weakest general election threat to President Donald Trump and pressure Democrats to support closing state primaries in the future.

South Carolina has open primaries, meaning voters do not have to register by party and can participate in either party’s contest.

. . . . Greenville GOP chairman Nate Leupp, Spartanburg GOP chairman Curtis Smith, Anderson GOP chairwoman Cheryl Cuthrell and the leaders of multiple tea party activist groups in the Upstate are behind the effort to undermine the Democratic race, with other officials still considering joining them.

. . .  . “Bernie Sanders is the most socialistic, liberal candidate running in the Democratic presidential preference primary,” Leupp told The Post and Courier. “So we feel we can make a strong point that our Democratic state legislators need to help work to close our primaries so it protects them as well as the Republican brand.”

The idea is inspired in part by conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” in 2008, when he encouraged Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama in the Democratic primaries in order to keep her in the race and sow division among Democrats.

While the strategy is focused on convincing South Carolina Democrats to switch to a closed primary system, it also has the potential to hand Sanders a clear win and to deal another humiliating blow to Biden.

The Post and Courier continues:

“I think we can easily affect the outcome,” Leupp said. “This is going to catch on like wildfire.”

Presidential preference primaries in South Carolina have no write-in option, so the group plans to pitch the effort to Republicans as a way for them to show their support for Trump even without a primary of their own.

“People have been waiting and waiting for 2020 to come along to vote for Trump, and now they can’t” because of the cancelled GOP primary, Leupp said. “But they can still help Trump. And it helps the Upstate’s cause of registration by party and closed primaries, so it’s a win-win for any conservative Republican.”

Leupp said he fully expects some Democrats will be angry about their efforts, but he argued that should prompt them to come around to their view on the potential perils of open primaries.

While I agree with Professor Jacobson that Bernie v. Trump is the battle we need, just as Britain needed Corbyn v. Johnson, there are also some perils here (as the professor also noted).

Sure, Bernie is the most radical horror show on offer in the Democrat clown car of 2020 candidates and some of his campaign staff are genuinely terrifying, but that might be the very problem facing Trump as he seeks reelection.

Ordinary Americans just won’t believe it possible for Bernie to win and, as a direct result, may not be motivated to head out to the polls.  We saw this happen in 2016 when only die-hard Trump supporters believed Trump could win and a lot of Hillary voters stayed home, fully expecting her landslide victory.

Of course, this is not 2016, and voters have many reasons to turn out for Trump, not the least of which is to deliver the House—and the nation—from current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s grasp.  Should Trump win, the last thing we need is four more years of her near-fetish focus on impeaching a duly-reelected president.


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