Rick Santorum and various Democratic groups have appealed to Democrats to crossover and vote in the Michigan Republican primary for Santorum and send a message to Mitt Romney for his opposition to the auto bailout. Michigan has an open primary so all voters are allowed to participate in the primary of their choice.
Mitt Romney characterizes this development as “the dirty tricks of a desperate campaign.” However, Romney himself cross-voted in the Massachusetts primary for Paul Tsongas (D-MA) in the 1992 Democratic presidential primary.
In 2007, he told ABC News’ Jonathan Greenberger:
When there was no real contest in the Republican primary, I’d vote in the Democrat primary, vote for the person who I thought would be the weakest opponent for the Republican.
But in 1994, he had a different story for the Boston Globe:
Romney confirmed he voted for former U.S. Sen. Paul Tsongas in the state’s 1992 Democratic presidential primary, saying he did so both because Tsongas was from Massachusetts and because he favored his ideas over those of Bill Clinton,” the Boston Globe’s Scot Lehigh and Frank Phillips wrote on Feb. 3, 1994.
These crossover votes may play a critical role in Michigan’s 13th and 14th Congressional districts which are located in Detroit and have a preponderance of Democratic voters.