ISP: CNN's Gay Question
When I first came across the story, I had to read it twice. Is this a prank? Had I stumbled onto "The Onion" by accident?
This week the State Board of Elections in Virginia approved a request from the Republican Party to ask GOP primary voters to sign an oath, a declaration of sorts, that they will support the Republican nominee in the general election.
I had to know more about it, so I called Virginia's GOP party directly. A spokesman named Shaun Kenney very graciously walked me through the details.
He explained that the document, provided to Republican primary voters, is not a "loyalty oath" from some fraternity hazing game, but a "statement of intent."
Virginia has been trending blue, leaning Democrat, in the past two elections. Kenney explained that there was significant crossover in the 2003 primaries—people who had voted in the Republican primary but then chose a Democrat at the polls the following November.
Another unique factor in Virginia is a lack of declaration upon voter registration. Voters don't have to declare any party when they register to vote. So, in a way, this might not be different than simply registering as a Republican, affirming your affiliation. I guess.
While Kenney got into some legalease about an open primary being constitutional but violating free association, I decided to have some fun with him.
"Isn't this like a pinky swear?"
There is no way enforce this.
"None whatsoever," Kenney agreed.
"So, it's a guilt trip, then."
"Sort of," he laughed.
It will be interesting to see if a little GOP guilt can make a difference in a state leaning blue. Kenney explained that they've already seen some results with the plan in one state senate district.
And you don't write. You don't call.