According to new reports, there are allegedly thousands of Democratic voters in key swing states casting their votes in Republican primaries in a deliberate effort to block candidates who have been endorsed by President Donald J. Trump.
As reported by the Associated Press, voting records from the data firm L2 show that approximately 37,000 Democratic voters in Georgia cast votes in last week’s Republican primaries.
Although a sizable number, this total was not enough to make the difference in the two key statewide races for governor and secretary of state. Incumbent Brian Kemp (R-Ga.) won his primary by over 620,000 votes, nearly 74 percent of all votes cast. Incumbent Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R-Ga.) won by over 220,000 votes. Both Kemp and Raffensperger were targeted by Trump-backed challengers David Perdue and Jody Hice, respectively, over their failure to stop voter fraud in the 2020 election.
This new tactic, while not necessarily illegal, may nevertheless constitute a new form of voter fraud that involves artificially changing the results of primaries from the will of most Republican voters. Although President Trump’s endorsed candidates have been successful far more often than not, some Democrats and NeverTrump Republicans are nevertheless attempting to coordinate similar efforts in a handful of upcoming races, most prominently the primary for Wyoming’s at-large congressional district, with unpopular incumbent Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).
President Trump referenced this tactic while campaigning in Wyoming on Saturday for his preferred candidate against Cheney, former Republican National Committee member Harriet Hageman.
“Don’t let the Democrats do what they did in another state last week,” Trump said, pointing out that this is what happens “when you allow Democrats to vote in a Republican primary.”
One of the leading figures encouraging this technique is outgoing Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who serves alongside Cheney on the unpopular January 6th committee, and who started an organization called “Country First,” with the express intent of encouraging Democrats to vote in Republican primaries in order to alter the natural result.
“Don’t wait until the general election to go after the extremes,” the group said in a mass text message to voters ahead of the Georgia primary. “Vote in the Republican Primary for the candidate that supports truth and democracy.” Kinzinger’s group has also taken credit, without any evidence, for the primary defeat of incumbent Congressman Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.). Kinzinger now says he has his sights set on the upcoming U.S. Senate primary in Alaska, where he plans to support unpopular incumbent Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) over former Governor Sarah Palin (R-Alaska), who has been endorsed by Trump.
However, even candidates who appear to have benefited from this trend attempted to dismiss the impact as insignificant. Jordan Fuchs, a Raffensperger campaign spokesman, claimed that most of the 37,000 Democrats who voted for Raffensperger were actually mostly former Republicans who switched to the Democratic Party out of protest of President Trump’s policies, though he presented no evidence to back up this claim.
“It is clear that Brad Raffensperger carried a majority of the Republican vote here in the state of Georgia,” said Fuchs. “And that there are people who stopped voting in Republican primaries after 2016 who are now reengaged.”