Republican voters nominated Donald Trump. That’s the conventional wisdom.
Certainly, many Republicans—disappointingly, in my view—voted for Trump. But there may be more to Trump's shocking rise to the top of the GOP ticket in 2016.
Trump has bragged that he pulled in a lot of Democrat voters during the primaries. This is certainly plausible. While NJ has a traditional primary, at least 20 states feature open primaries “in which voters can take part in either the Democratic or Republican nominating contests regardless of their party affiliation.”
I consider open primary voting a corruption of the party system. I don’t know the extent to which the primary process was corrupted by “open primary” voting. But given this corruption, it’s entirely possible that Democrats handed Trump the nomination.
Even in states like NJ, where a Democrat would have to re-register as a Republican 55 days before the election to vote for Trump, many Democrats may have done just that. After all, the Star-Ledger itself actually called on Democrats to Switch parties now, and fight Trump in the NJ primary. Different reason to switch, of course. But how many switched to vote for, rather than against, Trump?
It would be interesting to know just how much of a hand Democrats had in nominating Trump. Two polls indicate that between 8 and 15 percent of Trump’s voters were former Obama voters. Enough to put him over the top?
Independent Voters are Independent for a Reason