I’m going to register as a Republican and tell all my friends to do so too. For people living in the 23rd district who read my blog, I recommend that we all register as Republicans. Why not register as Democrats if that’s the party that we prefer? Frankly, because our district is not likely to elect a Democrat. I know we came a little close for your comfort this fall, Tom, but you still won with a fairly safe margin. The people of this district generally prefer Republicans. My best bet for getting a centrist candidate as my representative in Washington is to get a centrist Republican. And I’m okay with that.–Susan Bruxvoort Lipscomb
Why not register as a Republican to vote in a Republican primary? Here are my reasons:
- I would be ashamed to sail under false colors.
- While Tom Reed is mostly a moderate Republican, that isn’t good enough for me. If Republicans wish to nominate a more extreme candidate, I accept the risk that such a Republican might win.
- As a Democrat, I want Democrats to choose our candidates. I suppose the same is true for Republicans.
- Many Republicans registering as Democrats and vice versa might responsibly work for a moderate candidate, but others might favor what they hope is a weak candidate–dirty politics, which we have enough of already.
- There is no telling which parties will have primaries. Tom Reed has faced no primary challenges as his Democratic challengers have. Democrats registering as Republicans lose their right to vote in a Democratic Party primary.
Professor Lipscomb writes: “One reason we don’t have moderates in congress (from either party) is that moderate voters don’t often vote in the primaries.” I wonder:
- Is it true that there are no moderates in Congress? How would “moderate” be defined so that would be true?
- Is it true that moderates don’t vote in primaries; what is the evidence for that?
I enjoy Professor Lipscomb’s writing, but I can’t accept her premise that Tom Reed is the best that we can hope for, that he is responsive to his constituents’ needs, that somewhere between left and right there is a happy bipartisan median into which Tom might be gently nudged.
Note: Changes in party registration don’t take immediate effect–you must change well before the primary. Check the political calendar at https://www.elections.ny.gov/ElectionLaw.html or even better check with your local Board of Elections.