Top legislators in the North Carolina GOP have asked the GOP Executive Committee not to close the primaries to Unaffiliated Voters.  The legislators believe that Unaffiliated Voters are the key to winning and that barring them from the primaries will not win their confidence.  Civitas seems to agree.  This blogger completely disagrees with their conclusions.

Many Unaffiliated Voters (UV) are registered that way here in Dare County because (1) they want to vote in the Democrat primary for local officials, and/or (2) they are prominent people living in a Democrat dominated County and they do not want to be scorned and/or (3) they are unhappy with the State or National GOP and registering as Unaffiliated is one way of expressing it.  In all of these cases, the general election will find these voters most likely voting R in the State and National races.  Even if they don’t vote R, they will probably lean further to the right and vote for a third party candidate rather than a Democrat.

So if this is the case, if the UV don’t affect the primary in a negative way, then why not keep them in?  For a couple of reasons.  First, there may come a time when the North Carolina GOP primary is in play.  Do we want to have anyone but Republicans voting in that primary?  Do we want to become another New Hampshire or South Carolina?  Second, and equally important, we want the conservative Unaffiliated Voters to come back to the Republican Party and take an active role.  Allowing them to sit on the outside looking in will not engage them.  The GOP can increase their party registrations in the state by closing the primary.  If half of the Unaffiliated Voters changed to Republican because of the closing of the primary, the Democrats and Republicans would be split evenly at 45% in this state.   Then the Democrats would see that they are not the force that they think they are.  The Unaffiliated option has given the Democrats the appearance of power in this state, which they  have then used to secure actual power.  The only way to break that stranglehold is to CLOSE the GOP primary to Unaffiliated Voters.