A group of prominent upstate South Carolina Republicans is launching an effort to encourage Republicans across the state to vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the upcoming Democratic presidential primary.
The Post and Courier of Charleston reports the group’s leader, Greenville GOP chairman Nate Leupp says the effort has two goals. The first is to boost the Democratic candidate the group believes presents the weakest threat to President Trump in the general election. The second is to pressure Democrats to support closing state primaries in the future.
Right now, South Carolina has open primaries, meaning voters do not have to register by party and can vote in either party’s contest.
According to the paper, Leupp — along with the chairs of the Spartanburg and Anderson Republican parties and leaders of multiple tea party activist groups — will officially unveil the effort Thursday.
The South Carolina Republican Party has voted to forgo its presidential primary this year, so the Democratic primary will be the only one held Feb. 29.