Republicans Consider Switching Parties Despite Political Risks

Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 12:32pm
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Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Grant Woods

Grant Woods served as Arizona’s attorney general from 1991 to 1999 — as a Republican. But Woods has recently spoken seriously about switching to the Democratic Party, saying he’s having a difficult time being in the GOP in the age of President Donald Trump.

Woods isn’t alone in the party switch discussion in this current election cycle.

Republican Corporation Commission nominee Rodney Glassman was the Democratic U.S. Senate nominee in 2010. But Woods is especially high profile because of his connection to the late Sen. John McCain — and the eulogy Woods gave at McCain’s Phoenix memorial service.

Former legislative leader and current public policy analyst Chris Herstam also switched parties — from Republican to Democrat — three years ago, long after he was out of elected office. Herstam told The Show he believes Woods will indeed make the jump to the Democratic Party before the end of the year.

There are definite pitfalls for candidates — or already-elected officials — who make the party switch.

Christian Grose, associate professor of Political Science and Public Policy at USC, has studied the electoral consequences of party switching by incumbent members of Congress. He explained on The Show that trust becomes an even greater challenge.

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