Party Switching Was Popular Among Some Voters In Ohio Primary

May 18, 2016

The Ohio primary was Gov. John Kasich’s lone presidential primary win, and new numbers show a lot more Democrats voted Republican than vice versa. But the state's chief elections official says that isn’t a prediction of what could happen this fall.

Before the primary, there were stories of voters encouraging people to cross parties to vote for or against certain candidates in the March primary. Secretary of State Jon Husted notes three times as many Democrats switched parties as Republicans did, but there’s no way to know why.  “We have no way of measuring whether they voted because they liked the candidate or the party or because they didn’t like the candidate from the other party.”

1.9 million Republicans cast ballots in the March primary, compared to 1.1 million Democrats. But Husted notes that Gov. John Kasich was still in the GOP presidential race then. And the numbers show more party switching this year than in the 2012 presidential primary.