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Home Politics Open Primaries and Operation Chaos. Fair or Unfair?

Open Primaries and Operation Chaos. Fair or Unfair?

Did Trump’s “Operation Chaos,” an attempt to use the open primary in South Carolina as a way to create chaos by having Republican voters vote for Sanders succeed?

White House Homepage
Source: whitehouse.gov

CNN reported that “GOP is using ‘Operation Chaos’ to boost Sanders” yet Sander’s didn’t win big in South Carolina. However, we have no idea to what level Sanders’ delegates from South Carolina were the result of “Operation Chaos.” I’m sure Bernie and his team would argue that all 11 delegates were generated purely by Democratic voters. However, without significant forensic analysis, we will never know.


That’s a problem for the Democrats and a problem for Bernie. By encouraging Republicans to vote for Bernie Sanders in the south Carolina primary, the GOP delegitimizes some portion of Bernie’s delegates.

It’s likely that Operation Chaos will continue through most if not all of the remaining states that allow for Open Primaries (anyone can vote). It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where absolutely no impact to Bernie’s delegate counts was the result of Operation Chaos. Any skew in delegate counts is a HUGE issue regardless of the final delegate counts.

If there’s a brokered convention and any other candidate is chosen, Bernie voters defect from the party and write in Bernie. At least that’s the sense one gets reading this article in Common Dreams.

In that sense Operation Chaos has succeeded wildly, creating a chaotic situation. 

GOP “Operation Chaos” delivers

If the Democrats engage in a brokered convention and deliver the nomination to a candidate that didn’t have the plurality, then is that fair or unfair? Bernie thought it was fair in 2016 as expressed in this CNN discussion. During a recent Feb 12th interview on MSNBC, Bernie warned of a “very divisive moment” if a candidate with a plurality is not selected. That, of course, assumes that the delegates were in fact a true representation of the will of the people. And with open primaries and Trump suggesting chaotic voting that games the system, that’s a scenario that does indeed create chaos and confusion.

It’s becoming difficult to remember what a normal, fair election looks like.

Kevin Leehttps://givingforward.org
Kevin Lee is Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of Didit a leading digital-first marketing firm started in 1996, and CEO of the eMarketing Association. He is also the founder and President of GivingForward.org a cause marketing nonprofit. Kevin transformed Didit from an SEO/SEM boutique agency into a full-service digital-first marketing firm through 11 acquisitions. Kevin invents marketing technology solutions across search, social and programmatic, He also launched stand-alone platforms including We-Care ($8+ million for nonprofits via cause-marketing) & PowerProfiles; written 4 books, engaged in 500+speaking engagements, and published 700+ articles. Kevin received his MBA from Yale and lives in Scarsdale with his family.


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