Party raiding: An interesting tactic in US presidential election primaries

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Bengaluru, Feb 8: In the open primaries to nominate a candidate for the presidential election in the US, an interesting strategy of 'party raiding' is used. Under this, members of one party vote in another party's primary election aiming to boost a weaker candidate or ensure continuity of divided support between two or more contenders fighting for that party's nomination as the presidential candidate.

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Through this, the members of a party try to give their own party an advantage over the opponent.

A classic example of this tatic was Operation Chaos in the Democratic primary in 2008 when conservative political commentator and television host Rush Limbaugh encouraged the Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton to weakne Barack Obama and also ensure that the fighting in the Democratic camp went on till a point of exhaustion. And all this just to help the cause of Republican candidate John McCain.

In 2012, the Democratic voters used the same coin in Michigan by backing a weaker Republican candidate in Rick Santorum to derail the campaign of Mitt Romney, the eventual challenger Obama defeated in that year's election.

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