As an independent/unenrolled voter, I hadn't planned on voting in today's Massachusetts primary election. I was under the impression that these were "closed" primaries, but after John McCain won the GOP primary in Florida as a direct result of independents and Democrats voting for him, I figured I would at least try to go and vote for my candidate.
And vote I did, for Mitt Romney. No ID was needed and once I found my name on the rolls I was asked which party's primary I would like to vote in. "Republican", I said happily and moments later I had cast my vote for Romney, hopefully canceling out one of the the countless other independents and Democrats in Massachusetts who today voted for McCain in a contest many believed was restricted to only those registered in a given party.
While I was pleased to be allowed to vote, I would have preferred to have been prevented from voting since I am not in fact a registered Republican.
The fact that independents and Democrats can vote in a GOP primary is disturbing. Given that there really is no difference in terms of policy between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton I imagine that there will be quite a few left-leaning individuals voting for John McCain, thereby corrupting the purity of what should be a contest amongst Republicans rather than the general electorate.
I think the argument that McCain is a conservative and has conservative Republican support will be settled by the end of today's voting when we see the typical Florida-type results where McCain wins, not on the basis of conservative Republican support but because of the independent and Democratic vote.
The latest John McCain TV ad boasts, "John McCain: the True Conservative". That is correct, if by "conservative" they mean "guy who votes with liberals".