This post is directed towards my Michigan friends. I should know better than to tell any of you what to do, but knowing and then acting on that knowledge are two different things. Tomorrow is your election day. I hope that this doesn’t come as a surprise to you. I suspect though, with your battleground state status, there is no where that you could turn to avoid this election. I’m sure that there is a campaign ad waiting for you, under every glaciated stone in the state.
I feel your pain. I’ve been there before. Missouri was once a battleground state. Heck, we were even the bellwether state. Times have changed though. Missouri has gone partisan and become a red state. No longer are we inundated with political ads. Oh, how I miss them, not. If you think that the primary campaigning was bad, just wait until November.
Michigan, your only hope to avoid even more campaigning in the fall, is to be like Missouri and take the partisan trail. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that you become another red state. I am as politically partisan as they come and would be glad to see leaning Democratic Michigan become solidly Democratic Michigan. Once you are in a solid category they tend to leave you alone.
Missouri had its primaries a few weeks ago. The Republican primary didn’t count, it was just a beauty contest, but the Democratic primary did count, well sort of. Conversely, in Michigan tomorrow, the Republican primary will count, but the Democratic primary won’t count at all. For the political savvy, this presents an opportunity for some mischief.
Like many states, both Missouri and Michigan hold open primaries. This means that any registered voter can vote in either primary. I’m not suggesting that Michigan Democrats vote Republican tomorrow. That is something only Rush Limbaugh would suggest, and did in 2008. I mean voting for Santorum; just to upset Romney would throw the Republican primary race into total disarray. 🙄
Michigan Democrats, I suggest that you sit this one out. The reasons for this course are a bit nerdy, but try to follow my explanation. Michigan, like Missouri, like only a few other states, didn’t track party affiliation in their voter rolls. You still don’t have to declare your party affiliation to be a registered voter. This attribute has made the Michigan electorate particularly opaque to partisan strategist. Party affiliation is the strongest indicator of how a voter will vote. Last year, the Michigan GOP changed the law, before this primary there has been no record kept as to which party ballot a voter used during a primary election. Tomorrow, the ballot you choose will become a matter of public record.
Telling the Republicans, you are a partisan Democrat allows them to retarget their campaigning funds, in November, to more receptive voters. Unlike Obama, the Republicans do not enjoy the grass-roots support of college students and labor unions that will be canvassing for your vote, in November. To pick the wheat from the five-million pieces of chaff that is the Michigan voter pool, they normally have to pay for that information. Why should you as a Michigan taxpayer pay for their campaigning too?