Something very interesting is happening. Not only is Donald Trump getting massive support from rank-and-file Republicans, now Democrats are abandoning their party so as to vote for him in upcoming primary elections.
Alan Rappeport reports for The New York Times, Jan. 6, 2015, that at a campaign event for Trump in Biloxi, Mississippi last Saturday, Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson — two black women who go by the names Diamond and Silk on YouTube — rallied the roaring crowd with the plea, “Ditch and switch! Ditch and switch!”.
The pitch was directed at Democrats and independents in the audience of a phenomenal 14,000, urging them to become Republicans and vote for Trump.
As recounted by The American Mirror, Hardaway said to the cheering crowd:
“In this room is unity. In this room we are united. This is the United States, not the divided states. It’s time for us all to take America back because this is our country. It’s imperative you get out and vote. If you don’t want to get left, you’ve got to get right. We want somebody to build a wall, don’t we? We want somebody to bring back our jobs so we can thrive again, don’t we? We want somebody that’s going to keep us safe, don’t we?”
Her biggest applause line was “There is only one race: the human race, as all of our lives matter in this room.”
When Trump joined the two women on stage, he invited Hardaway to “do a little routine,” which was eagerly accepted. Hardaway said, to wild applause:
“First of all, I’m glad that the media can see us. I want everybody to know that we stand behind Donald J. Trump! We support Donald J. Trump! We endorse Donald J. Trump. And this is going to be our next president of these United States! The silent majority has spoken, baby! He’s going to build that wall and he’s going to build it tall and it’s going to protect us all. We don’t want this country to fall do we? Build that wall Donald J. Trump. We finally have a candidate that realizes that and that’s why it’s imperative you vote for Donald J. Trump!”
Hardaway and Richardson are former Democrats whose support for Trump led them to switch to the Republican Party in North Carolina. On social media and at rallies, they are urging other Democrats to do likewise. To that end, the two women even created a “ditch and switch” website with information on states that are closed primaries and when the deadlines are for changing party affiliations. Neither is formally associated with or paid by the Trump campaign.
Hardaway said in an interview, “Donald Trump is going to have Democrats switching in droves to vote for him. He’s going to be the only candidate to be able to pull independents and Democrats to vote for him in the primaries and the general election.”
Hardaway and Richardson are not the only Democrat supporters of Trump. Others, too, are spreading the word on Twitter that they have switched parties and urging others to do the same. One of them is Sunny Kreis Collins in California. She said, “I would love to see more Democrats vote Republican in this election. The country is a mess.”
According to an analysis by The Upshot last week, Trump is drawing support from 43% of registered Democrats who identify as Republican leaners. The states where Trump is doing best are those with traditions of Democrats who vote Republican in presidential elections.
That would explain why Trump was outraged at Virginia lawmakers last month who introduced a requirement that Republican voters sign statements of affiliation on their primary ballots. Trump calls the requirement a “suicidal” mistake that discourages new voters from voting.
As primary season arrives, Trump needs to turn his raucous campaign events into voters, delegates and ultimately the Republican nomination. To accomplish that, he will need to convince people who do not tend to vote. In states that allow only registered Republicans to vote in primary elections, Trump needs to persuade Democrats and independents to change parties so that they can vote for him.
Thus far, however, the Trump campaign said they’re not making an organized effort to convert voters. Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump, said, “It’s happening organically.”