SPONSORED:

Republicans urging GOP voters to vote for Sanders in South Carolina primary: report

Republicans urging GOP voters to vote for Sanders in South Carolina primary: report
© Greg Nash

State Republican leaders in South Carolina are urging GOP voters to vote for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHouse Democrats to keep minimum wage hike in COVID-19 relief bill for Friday vote Sanders slams parliamentarian decision on minimum wage Parliamentarian nixes minimum wage hike in coronavirus bill MORE (I-Vt.) in the state's Feb. 29 Democratic primary.

The plan — orchestrated by Greenville GOP chairman Nate Leupp and several other prominent Republican Party leaders — revolves around GOP leadership's belief that Sanders poses the least amount of challenge to President TrumpDonald TrumpDonald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow McConnell says he'd back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee MORE in November's general election and its goal of getting the Palmetto State's Democratic lawmakers to agree to close the state's primaries.

“Bernie Sanders is the most socialistic, liberal candidate running in the Democratic presidential preference primary,” Leupp told The Post and Courier. “So we feel we can make a strong point that our Democratic state legislators need to help work to close our primaries so it protects them as well as the Republican brand.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

South Carolina has open primaries, meaning voters don't have to be associated with a political party to cast a ballot.

According to the paper, Leupp and company are set to unveil their plan on Thursday at a press conference at the GOP's headquarters in Greenville.

In the latest Post and Courier poll, Sanders only trailed former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden 'disappointed' in Senate parliamentarian ruling but 'respects' decision Taylor Swift celebrates House passage of Equality Act Donald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' MORE, who has long been the favorite in the state, by 5 percentage points.

Leupp said that he believes that the state's large Republican voter base could make the difference in the primary. To his point, in 2016 roughly 740,000 people voted in the state's GOP presidential primary, while only 370,000 voted in the Democratic version.

“I think we can easily affect the outcome,” Leupp told the paper. “This is going to catch on like wildfire.”