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Smart politics or ‘gaming the system’? How Huntsman’s push to register more Republicans could prove decisive in the primary election

Is it a winning political strategy, or dirty pool? Former Gov. Jon Huntsman’s campaign is making a push to get their supporters, who are not yet registered as Republicans, to change their voter status ahead of the June 30th primary election. That might be a smart play for the former governor who is seeking to return to the job he left in 2009 in order to take a job as the Ambassador to China.

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Huntsman’s campaign is running digital ads on Facebook and Instagram featuring endorsements from prominent Utahns that close with “Voting begins June 9. Click here to register.” That ad leads to their campaign website that features a popup with a video from Huntsman’s daughter Abby explaining if Utahns want to vote in the June 30th primary, they must be registered as a Republican. There are also links for visitors to the webpage to check whether they are registered as a Republican or to change their registration to the GOP in order to participate. The Republican primary election is closed, meaning registered Republicans only can cast a ballot. The strategy by Huntsman is clever, identifying potential supporters of his candidacy on social media, then getting them to take […]

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