Mischief Voters Can't Decide Whose Campaign to Fake-Support

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After their unsuccessful campaign to get enough Democrats to vote for Rick Santorum and prolong the Republican nominating contest, mischievous liberal voters now can't decide which losing GOP candidate to "support." The Daily Kos' campaign to encourage Michigan liberals to vote for Santorum didn't propel the candidate to victory as they might have hoped. But Talking Points Memo notes that Daily Kos' "Operation Hilarity" (a clear echo of Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos" from 2008) is now focusing on the March 6 Super Tuesday primaries that aren't limited to registered Republicans, like Ohio. Unfortunately, the organizer can't decide which of the struggling non-Romneys should get the cross-over votes, with Gingrich the more obvious choice in his home state of Georgia and Santorum performing better in Ohio. “I had originally ruled Georgia out, but I think I may have flubbed that one,” writes Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas Zuniga. “I’ll research it more today to see if we can engage there — on behalf of Gingrich."

We've argued that these sorts of mischief campaigns backfire just by nature of getting good publicity -- If the narrative becomes that you only won because of Democrats, you're kind of giving your losing opponent a good excuse for his loss. And now, by splitting the effort between two struggling candidates, it just seems likely to dilute the effort. It also works against the stated goal of elevating a single challenger to take on the front runner. With that in mind, Operation Hilarity doesn't seem likely to breed much mischief—or many laughs—on Super Tuesday.

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