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Source: http://news.yahoo.com/american-becomes-rebel-cause-east-ukraine-124221430.html

Hunter said used to vote Republican but had become as disillusioned with that party as he was with the Democratic Party of President Barack Obama.

First up, I assume he was omitted in Hunter said (he) used to. Is that correct? And secondly, how do you understand the phrase vote Republican? Does it mean that he used to support the Republican Party and vote for them, so in a sense he was a Republican? Something along those lines?

  • This is a typo or an editorial error. You are correct; to be grammatical the sentence would need to start Hunter said he used to vote Republican. – choster Sep 29 '14 at 14:43
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First, yes, you are correct. "He" was improperly omitted.

Second, a bit of background: Different states have different rules about party affiliation and primary voting. In some states you must declare your affiliation with a particular party in order to vote in that party's primary. (For a counter-example, search for stories regarding Sen. Thad Cochran's recent primary battle in Mississippi.)

In general elections, users are allowed to vote regardless of any party affiliation. So Hunter may have meant to imply that he generally voted for Republicans, and was in that sense more ideologically aligned to the Republican party, but was not a "declared" Republican.

But nothing in the statement, "I used to vote Republican" precludes the possibility he was also an active, declared member of the party, either. And he could have been a registered Democrat and voted for Republicans in general elections.

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"He" is definitely omitted erroneously in the extract. You are right.

To vote [insert political party]

See here (v.tr. def. 1). This is a verb phrase used to express one's voting habit. It is a bit shorter than the clunkier:

To vote for [full party name/candidate's name]

Some more examples:

I voted Tory last time round, and I deeply regret my temporary insanity.

I voted Republican and I think it was a wasted vote.

Versus

I voted for the Republican party.

In answer to your last doubt, I think it is rather a case of deciding to what extent somebody voting for a particular party makes it possible to call them by that name. Yes, he voted for the Republicans, but does that mean you can call him a Republican? I.e. Does voting for party X actually make you an X?

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