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Indiana stuck in another Primary Election rutPosted Thursday, March 6, 2008, at 11:00 AM
With the Republican Party nomination for president wrapped up by Arizona Sen. John McCain on Tuesday night, the state of Indiana finds itself in a familiar position with the approaching May 6 Primary Election.
For a Republican, voting on the GOP ticket in the Primary Election strictly in the presidential race really means nothing.
We should not forget there are a host of contested county and state races on the Republican ticket that ought to catch our attention and prompt us to venture to the polls in roughly 10 weeks.
These are important local positions like county commissioner, county council, treasurer, Superior Court Judge, governor and state representative where the decisions these elected officials make directly affects each of our own pocketbooks and lifestyles here in Greene County.
However, there is one interesting strategy that is allowed by Indiana Election law that could be employed by some Republicans in the coming Primary.
If the presidential race is the only race that draws your interest, if you are a Republican you could pull a Democrat ballot and vote for the Democrat presidential candidate you think will stand the least chance of beating McCain in the fall General Election.
The state of Indiana does not have a closed primary election. Voters can ask for any political party ballot they choose, according to Greene County Voter Registration office clerk Marjorie Cullison.
You could actually do the same thing for any of the other races on the ballot.
However, a vote from a Democrat may still matter in the neck-and-neck battle for the nomination between Barack O'Bama and Hilary Clinton.
Fueled by a comeback in Ohio and Texas, Hilary is still hanging on to her chance to capture the nomination and from all indications she is sticking with it and will battle the Illinois senator all of the way to the party convention.
This race is shaping up in many ways to one back in 1968.
Incumbent president Lyndon B. Johnson was forced to withdraw from the race after a poor primary election showing in New Hampshire.
A crazy primary season stretched all the way to California in June, culminating in the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.
The Democrats had a host of primary candidates:
oHubert H. Humphrey, Vice President of the United States and former senator and candidate for the 1952 and 1960 nominations from Minnesota
o Robert F. Kennedy, U.S. senator from New York and former Attorney General* Roger D. Branigin, Governor of Indiana
oJohn G. Crommelin, retired US Navy Admiral from Alabama
oPaul C. Fisher, businessman and candidate for the 1960 nomination from Pennsylvania
oThomas C. Lynch, Attorney General of California
oEugene J. McCarthy, U.S. senator from Minnesota
oGeorge S. McGovern, U.S. senator from South Dakota
oDaniel K. Moore, Governor of North Carolina
oGeorge A. Smathers, U.S. senator and candidate for the 1960 nomination from Florida
oStephen M. Young, U.S. senator from Ohio
However, Primary Elections in 1968 weren't that big of a deal. The party convention is where the power was and the nominations decided.
Only 14 states held primaries in 1968 -- California, Oregon, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Florida.
The Democratic Convention in Chicago was a nationally televised political combat zone. Humphrey, the party's eventual nominee, didn't win a single primary.
Yet in the end, he carried the party's banner into a close, but unsuccessful General Election race against Republican Richard Nixon.
Independent George Wallace ran third.
In most years, by the time Indiana opens its polls in May, other states have already elected the parties' presidential candidates and in most cases one or more of the political parties have wrapped it up and picked a nominee by the time Hoosiers venture out to the polls.
Does it surprise you that only one in five registered voters went to the polls in Indiana's last presidential primary?
Something really doesn't seem fair or right about that process.
Why can't all the state primaries be on the same day?
We do that for the General Election, don't we?
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