I was and remain skeptical about the amount of mischief-making by Democrats in the Michigan primary. About 9 percent of the voters in the GOP primary identified themselves as Democrats, and while Rick Santorum won those voters by a 3 to 1 margin it didn’t make any difference in the outcome. Regardless of the numbers, however, Democrats actively did urge the their fellow Democrats to make trouble in the Republican selection process.
I spoke by phone a short time ago with Bob Krug, who is the township clerk in Fenton, a township about 11 miles south of Flint. He’s a Republican who’s in his twelfth year on the job (he also served for more than a decade on the school board.) The township has about 13,000 voters. Krug consolidated the precincts when a new high school was built in the center of the town. He was there last night helping voters to receive the ballot of their choice (Democratic, Republican or one that addressed only a state representative recall). He told me, “There were three ladies. At first I thought they were talking to themselves, loudly.” But it turned out, they were talking to the voters in the room. Krug said that one of the three said, “If you are good Democrat, then do your duty and vote for the weakest Republican.” The woman also informed them that they could still vote on the recall item with a GOP ballot. Krug does not recall her mentioning a specific candidate. He told her she wasn’t allowed to campaign in the polling place and would have to go out to the parking lot, more than 100 feet from the voting place, like other people who were handing out information and talking to voters. Krug said she made a phone call, and then the three “disappeared.”
This is one incident, but it suggests that there was at least some effort (supported by liberal blogs and talk show hosts) to make life difficult for the Republicans. Aside from breaking the rules about campaigning inside the polling place, there is nothing illegal about this. But it is unseemly, and to the extent more incidents of this come to light, Rick Santorum — who encouraged anti-Romney voting by Democrats — will face more pummeling by Romney’s team, which is making good on its promise to make this an issue in the campaign.