Only once is my life have I voted in a Democratic primary. I did that back in 1994, largely because I realized that if the Democrat I backed had won his primary, I would have voted for him in the general. That year, while leaving in Charlottesville, Virginia, I (quite literally) pulled the level for Virgil Goode (then a Democrat) challenging Chuck Robb for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. I balked at supporting the GOP nominee Oliver North (against whom I had voted at the state GOP convention).
When I learned that blogger Mickey Kaus was tossing his hat into the ring against California’s ineffective and hyperpartisan junior Senator, Ma’am Barbara Boxer, in their party’s primary, I briefly thought of changing my registration so I could vote for this laconic liberal. I appreciate his terse and and witty blog posts and have enjoyed chatting with him at various blogger shindigs in LA.
Were Kaus to win the Democratic primary, he would retire a big-spending, mean-spirited embarrassment from the Senate. And he would make a far better Senator than she. Even given her absence of accomplishment, she still would be the favorite should she win her party’s nomination–given Democrats’ registration edge in the Golden State. A vote for Mickey would thus secure the end of her career.
All that said, I won’t be changing my registration. It would only be honorable to do so if I were certain to vote for Mickey in the fall. And while I like him, I disagree with him on too many issues to be able to support him against a Ronald Reagan conservative like Carly Fiorina (though if Mickey were up against Tom Campbell, I’d probably vote Democratic given that former California State Finance Director’s record on Israel and his big-spending ways in state government).
That said, the only reason you should vote in the opposing party’s primary is if you’re certain to support that candidate in the general. And since I’m not certain I’d be voting for Mickey Kaus should he prevail in June, I’ll keep my Republican registration.
But, I’ll still be rooting for him–and won’t rule out supporting him come November if he emerges victorious this June.