Months ago I suggested that the Republican faithful would vote for Obama to keep Clinton from having any chance of winning the White House. It turns out they are voting for Clinton in record numbers to keep the Dem nomination battle going for as long as they can and, perhaps, set up their preferred candidate to go against McCain in the Fall.
The Daily Kos has a nice rundown of how this has played out. Exhibit A: Just before the Texas/Ohio vote Rush Limbaugh urged his listeners to vote for Clinton in order to keep the “soap opera” between Clinton and Obama in the spotlight. True to form, Republicans doubled and then tripled their representation in the Democratic primaries with their votes shifting from 31% to 48% to 75% for Clinton over Obama.
This is smart tactics and a win-win strategy by the Republicans. If Obama wins a drawn-out nomination process, his large financial advantage will be whittled down by all of the extra primaries and the halo knocked off his head by Clinton. But if Clinton wins she will need to have broken a lot of knee caps along the way and go against the popular vote which would make her a very compromised candidate in the general election. But Republicans would also have to consider that, against all odds, she could wind up winning the whole kit and caboodle. And so they must think that taking that small risk of throwing the whole game to their arch-enemy is worth giving their man an edge in November.
On a related note, I voted for a redo of the FL and MI primaries in the poll to the right because my ideals for a broad democratic representation trumps my support for my preferred candidate.