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So if I understand you correctly, basically my recourse as a person who generally supports a party but is unhappy with a particular candidate running for said party, is to support my token favorite until as far as the primary, at which point if I don't bite the bullet and vote for my last-choice candidate in the general I become "part of the problem".

This kind of thinking is exactly why I don't consider myself a democrat despite supporting the party's positions on most topics. I don't like the idea of being told I owe anyone a vote. Either I support a candidate on merit or I don't. And I'm not willing to cast a vote for someone I've chosen not to support for ethical reasons. If not voting for a corrupt democrat makes me a party traitor, I'd just as soon not be a party member at all.