DAVE & DUJANOVIC

When Democrats switch sides for the GOP primary, is it sabotage?

Jul 2, 2020, 4:16 PM

business boycotts georgia...

File photo: KSL.com

SALT LAKE CITY — Where is the ethical line drawn on Utah Democrats affiliating with the Republican Party in order to cast a vote to influence the GOP primary? Is it monkey-wrenching an election or is it OK because it’s within the rules?

Former Utah Republican Rep. Enid Mickelsen joined Amy Donaldson of the Deseret News and Dave Noriega to analyze the politics behind Democrats switching sides to vote in the recent GOP gubernatorial primary and the District 1 and 4 congressional races.

Donaldson affiliated with the Republican Party in January, she said, to participate in the June 30 primary for governor. She said she thought most of the moderate voters aren’t affiliated with either major party or are not participating in the primary elections.

“I believe people affiliated for this election because they saw it as a competitive race between factions of the Republican Party,” she said.

Even Greg Hughes, a candidate for governor of Utah, took note of voters switching affiliations to the GOP.

 

No gaming the system

Mickelsen said she has “nothing but respect” for voters like Donaldson who do their research into the candidates and issues and affiliate with a party long before Election Day.

“You didn’t switch from Democrat to Republican at the last minute to try to make a strategic vote,” Mickelsen said. “Gaming the system is not something we should encourage.

“I think there ought to be some kind of time limit where are you can’t change your affiliation within the last 10 days. I would push it out further than that. I would say two months because then you’re not gonna have such a disproportionate impact on the race. . . If you got a flood of people coming in at the end because they want to game the system, that’s something I have a problem with,” Mickelsen said.

“That’s where it really feels unethical for me,” Dave said. “My philosophy is Republicans, you put up your candidate. Democrats, you put up yours, and then we’ll have our choice. When you’re trying to sabotage each other . . . listen, politics is bad enough, I mean it’s dirty enough . . .that just seems so wrong to me.”

“I want the best candidate that each party can put up. I’ve split my ticket at times over the years where I have not felt comfortable with the Republican candidate. In those situations, I want the Democrats to put up the best candidate they can put up,” Mickelsen said.

“Frankly, the Utah Democratic Party in the last few years hasn’t always done that. They’ve put up statement candidates. They’re not going to get over 20 percent of the vote because that’s the base vote of the Democratic Party in the state of Utah,” she continued. 

GOP primary is the deciding contest

Donaldson said the best Democratic candidates won’t run because they don’t have anyway of winning. She said the races in Utah are decided in the GOP primary, and those are closed to voters not affiliated with the Republican Party, including Democrats. 

“So if you want to participate, you have to affiliate,” Donaldson said.

“I agree with you, but let’s look at what the root of the problem is. The real root of the problem is the Democratic Party in Utah puts up extreme candidates for the most part,” Mickelsen said.

“I think the real issue is we have two parties,” Donaldson said. “We have a much wider, diverse belief system. There’s some real interesting political views out there that don’t get represented because we have two parties that are playing to their extreme ends.”

“You and I are going to have to agree to disagree on that because I think the two-party system has served the country well — most of the time,” Mickelsen said. “What’s happened now though is, for example, these congressional seats. There are so few swing districts left. Most districts, if you win the primary, whether you’re Republican or a Democrat, you’ve won that seat. And that’s not healthy.”

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Dave & Dujanovic

Michael Bacon and Kevin Bacon (Bacon Brothers Band) during rehearsals for Mother Nature Netwok's Wh...

Curt Gresseth

After 40 years, Payson High bringing home Bacon

Kevin Bacon returns Saturday to Payson High School for the 40th anniversary of the movie Footloose.

2 days ago

Students participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new West Lake Jr. High building in 2022...

Kyle Remund

West Lake Jr. High rebuilds after 2020 earthquake

After being severely damaged in 2020, West Lake Jr. High is being rebuilt with earthquake safety in mind. KSL's Dave and Dujanovic interviewed Ben Horsley of Granite School District about how the new building is being brought up to seismic code and how the district is preparing for future emergencies.

2 days ago

FILE: Caution tape surrounds the VFW building on Magna’s Main Street on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, ...

Curt Gresseth

How an earthquake impacts homes and buildings 

A structural engineer discusses how an earthquake rattles homes and buildings.

3 days ago

buildings are destroyed following an earthquake...

Curt Gresseth

Great Utah Shakeout: How to make your home earthquake-safe

An adviser discusses how to make your home safe for the Great Utah Shakeout.

5 days ago

An old, white house sits in front of a blue sky....

Tammy Kikuchi

Instances of squatting in Utah are rare, but they happen

While Utahns have many legal protections to fight against squatters, it can still happen. Here's what to do, if it does.

6 days ago

bald eagle...

Curt Gresseth

Who shot, killed bald eagle near Cedar City? $10,000 reward available

A $10,000 reward is available for information leading to the conviction of the perpetrator who shot and killed a protected bald eagle near Cedar City.

9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

When Democrats switch sides for the GOP primary, is it sabotage?