Reading this article, there is a headline saying,

“I really want there to be a good two-party system," said Copan, a former senior officer with the American Gas Association. His vote for Biden for president was his first for a Democrat since Jimmy Carter in 1976 but probably won't be his last. “I think there’s a lot of people like me out there."

The ranks of Republican crossovers may be smaller than he would expect. Only 8% of Republicans voted Democratic in November’s presidential race, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of the electorate nationwide.

Would the bold part mean the number of Republicans who secretly betray their own party and are supporting Biden?

Thank you in advance(m_m).

  • 3
    There's no reason the "betrayal" would need to be done secretly, but you're correct otherwise.
    – Juhasz
    Apr 12, 2021 at 19:27
  • @Juhasz Thanks.
    – Kentaro
    Apr 12, 2021 at 19:33
  • 1
    Also note that Republicans in this context likely does not mean "members of the Republican Party" in the same way, say, Mitch McConnell is - it refers to regular voters who register their affiliation with the party (in order to eg. vote in the primaries in some states). Apr 12, 2021 at 20:06
  • In the US system, it is common for Congresspeople to sometimes vote differently from the majority of their party, or for a president from the other party. This is because of the republican system in which the president doesn't need a majority in Congress to remain president. It is quite unlike the system in the UK (or in Japan)
    – James K
    Apr 13, 2021 at 7:59
  • @JamesK Yes, in my country too like the U.K? it is inconceivable for a congressman to vote against his/her own party's policy.
    – Kentaro
    Apr 13, 2021 at 19:37

1 Answer 1


Yes, you've interpreted this correctly.

"Ranks" refers to the members of a certain group, especially when talking about how many of them there are.

A "crossover" is someone from one political party (someone who shares their views, is a registered member, or typically votes for that party) who instead votes for the other party. (In politics, you'll often hear about crossing over "the aisle", in reference to the aisle that physically separates the two parties' seats in Congress.)

So, the "ranks of Republican crossovers" are the (previously) Republican voters who instead voted Democrat.

  • Thank you for making the answer!
    – Kentaro
    Apr 12, 2021 at 21:00

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