It may be the strangest vote of the day: die-hard Democrats in Michigan crossing over to vote for Rick Santorum in the Republican primary. "I hate him and I voted for him," said Jenn May, a voter in Flint, Michigan, told CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront. Why? "Santorum getting the Republican bid is basically a guarantee that Obama will be reelected," May said.
Michigan Democratic strategist Joe Disano hopes Democrats will turn out in significant numbers today, potentially pushing Santorum over the top in a tight fight with Mitt Romney. "They invited us in," Disano said, referring to a robo call from the Santorum campaign inviting Democrats to take advantage of Michigan's open primary and vote on the GOP side: "On Tuesday, join Democrats who are going to send a loud message to Massachusetts Mitt Romney."
The Michigan GOP primary is open to all voters, and as such, Disano says there's no reason for Democrats not to cross over and vote against Romney, who many Democrats clearly believe is a stronger candidate against President Obama in the fall. "I will be participating in Operation Chaos today," Michigan voter Sarah Fiel told OutFront. "A vote for Santorum is a vote for Obama! Trust me, that is the only reason I am even doing it. I would much rather see Santorum go up against Obama than Romney."
The idea could conceivably spread to other open primary states. Steve Morschauser told OutFront "I'll be voting Santorum in the Wisconsin primary in April and Obama in November."
William Stuart, a Michigan voter registered as an independent, agreed with the effort to vote Santorum as a message to Mitt Romney, who has campaigned in Michigan as a local son, but battled to connect with many working class voters. "Voted for Santorum as a protest vote against Romney. He seems more interested in using Michigan than actually having any connection here. Not sure who I'll vote for in the fall."