Why do politicians switch parties?
-I found myself increasingly uncomfortable with the stance of my party on the vast majority of high-profile issues. -Iowa’s longest-serving Republican legislature left the Republican party April 23rd. But he’s certainly not the first politician to ditch his party affiliation. American political party defectors date all the way back to 1855. And as parties evolved or splintered, the practice became more common. But in modern politics, there’s always a motive. Take Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. -I believe that one of the major problems in Washington is too much partisanship. -Lieberman lost the Democratic primary during his Senate re-election bid in 2006. Rather than accept defeat, a small faction of 25 supporters broke off to form the Connecticut for Lieberman party. While Lieberman never formally became a member, the third-party ticket did ultimately win his re-election. So, if you can’t beat them, join them, or just create your own entirely new party. Party defection can also be a symbolic move as part of a larger political wave. -Richard Shelby — a new force for Alabama. -Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby originally joined Congress as a Democrat in 1986. Then, 1994 brought the Republican revolution. The GOP won back the majority in both the Senate and, for the first time in 40 years, the House. -Bill, these are significant moves up for the Republicans. -Exactly one day after this wildly successful election day for Republicans, Shelby decided to change teams and become a Republican himself. -Officially, right now, I am changing parties to a party of hope for America, not a party of dependency to the Republican party, effective immediately. -Or party switching can be a strategic move. Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson initially ran for President in 2012 as a Republican but later decided to switch to the Libertarian ticket. -Back to your original question about, you know, Republican/Libertarian, this is a growing element within the Republican party. -He won the nomination but lost the election. Still, it set Johnson up for another Libertarian Presidential bid in the 2016 election. -Two-term Republican Governor Gary Johnson here. Like you, I’m not voting for Donald Trump. -So, whether a politician is seeking a new route to electoral victory, hopping on to a new political trend, or recalibrating their political calculus, party defection might not be common, but it’s certainly motivated.