March 3rd, 2008
03:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Blitzer: Could Florida's Republican governor help Clinton?

 Will Florida vote again?

Will Florida vote again?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Florida’s Republican governor, Charlie Crist, tells me he’s ready to let the Democrats hold another primary in his state if necessary to allow Florida delegates have a say at the Democratic Convention in Denver at the end of the summer. Right now, the Democratic National Committee has prohibited Florida from seating those delegates because the state moved up its primary against party rules. (The same is true for the Democrats in Michigan.)

But now, Crist says he would be ready to let the state organize another round of voting for the Democrats if that’s what they want and need. That is significant because state primaries are paid for by the taxpayers; state caucuses, which had been suggested by some Democrats as a compromise solution that would allow the state’s delegates to be seated, are paid for by the parties.

The whole question of seating the Florida and Michigan delegates, of course, would become moot if Hillary Clinton were to drop out of the race. But if she does well Tuesday in Rhode Island, Vermont, Ohio and Texas, the race will continue to Pennsylvania on April 22 and maybe even longer – perhaps all the way to the convention in Denver.

Under that scenario, both the pledged and superdelegates from Florida and Michigan could be critical.

When it comes to an election re-do, Hillary Clinton’s campaign would strongly prefer primaries as opposed to caucuses. That’s because Barack Obama has had a clear advantage when it comes to caucus results.

So in effect, Crist would be doing her campaign a huge favor by authorizing another primary in Florida. The same, by the way, would be true if Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm did the same thing in her state.

Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean would love his party’s nominating process to wrap up long before the convention. He and other party leaders fear a prolonged and bitter Democratic fight would hurt the eventual party nominee, especially because the likely Republican nominee, John McCain, would be able to spend that time rallying the Republican base.

All fascinating political scenarios - but first, let’s see what happens Tuesday.

- CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (335 Responses)
  1. KR

    Michigan vote, with out Sentor Obama's name available on the ballot for Voters, is complicated but a huge turnout of nearly 1.7 million voters in Florida inspite of both candidates not participating in campaigning and Senator Clinton's victory margin suggest that its fair to consider giving Senator Clinton credit. Anyway, a re-election in Florida and Michigan is a good idea.

    March 3, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. C Hall in Seattle

    The Florida and Michigan situation are a bit tricky, in my opinion. On one hand, the Democratic parties in each state new the consiquences of their actions BEFORE they moved their primaries up. They are now reaping what they have sown.

    On the other hand, voters in those states deserve to have their votes counted in an open and honest process – not the current mess they have now where nobody campaigned and people didn't show up.

    I don't know if party heads in each states are elected positions or not, but I certainly hope that if they are then voters send a clear message NEXT time that screwing over an entire state isn't acceptable.

    March 3, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Texican

    Now that is a fair way to settle this one. Let the people vote again because the first time it didn't count. Hillary would win because the truth is finally coming out on Obama. That is why the party would not allow this to happen. They are afraid of Hillary and want Obama as their candidate. Republicans don't care which one gets it. We will win in November.

    March 3, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Kevin

    I really like how the media has bought in to this notion that Obama has an advantage in caucuses. Hilary's campaign chose to ignroe caucuses in their strategy and now they're crying foul. A bunch of crap if you ask me.

    The rules are the rules, and Michigan & Florida chose to break them. Crist can take his offer of a redo and shove it.

    March 3, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. souza

    Everyone has the right to vote in this country. Just because people in the goverment broke the rules around the Primary election does not make it fair that the Americans in Florida who want their vote to count should have that RIGHT taken away. They just need to get started with tis process and not drag their feet about getting it done.

    March 3, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. Manubi

    Governor Christ is on the A-list of McCain's VP ticket. And guess who McCain wants to face in the general election? The Clintons. When it comes to experience (what Clinton has been clinging on these days), McCain is way ahead of her. On the contrary, Obama is an unknown. It is reasonable that McCain rathers see Clinton becomes the Democrat's nominee. I guess Governer Christ is looking out for his VP spot! Smart Guy!

    March 3, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Sharon

    I think that's a fair compromise and I'm in Florida. But it would have to be a primary and not a caucus. I may be wrong, but I believe a caucus is where you have to be there at a certain time? People work and that would be a huge disservice to the people who voted the first time but may not be able to the second time if it were a caucus.

    March 3, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. Captain

    I am very happy to see CNN postin so many Pro-Clinton articles. I am NOT saying that CNN is biased in any way. However, when Barack Obama cleans up in the March 4th primaries, I don't want to hear or see any whining from the Hillary supporters about how biased CNN is... OKAYY???!!!!

    March 3, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. MNDem

    By the end of this campaign season, the Clinton's will have broken the Democratic Party into two separate parties and her supporters will love her for it so long as she wins the nomination.

    As an American, it's getting harder and harder to hold my head up. Now, members of my own party are swiftboating other Democrats. How sad? You Clinton supporters derided the Republicans use of fear and hatred, and yet you have decided to use it for your own gain.

    I can tell you right now, a Democratic nomination of Clinton, using these types of tactics, will alienate a whole generation of voters from the Democratic Party. And we will all know exactly who to blame.

    March 3, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Pat

    Jeff Radun, you are a mole...stop copying and pasting the same ol' diatribe.

    NO DO OVER!! Florida and Michigan knew the rules and they decided to disobey it. They should suffer the consequences. If those voters feel disenfranchised, they should take it up with their legislators.

    I'm sure Crist would like Hillary to win...considering that he's one of the top picks for McCain's VP. Interesting.

    March 3, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. Wow...

    At this point...the Republicans are licking their chops. The Dem are eating themselves alive getting all have Nader running like his good friend McCain asked to sure up the vote because at this point, Obama's people won't vote for Hillary and Hillary's won't vote for Obama...

    Ahhh Thank you Hillary for your constant power at ALL cost moves... You've made it so easy to win this election. We'll either have a bloody Obama, or a Dump truck of garbage to toss on you...ohh

    McCain '08

    March 3, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. Monte Brown

    Florida's delegates should be seated because all the names of the candidates were on the ballot for Floridians to chose.

    March 3, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  13. douglas

    Go dems !!!!!! Keep fighting like little teens and "WE THE REPUBLI...CANS will have to spank you all back into line.....democrats...bloggers...MORONS !!!

    March 3, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. Rose - Baltimore, MD

    Holding those primaries or caucases in FL and MI will NOT favor Hillary this time because Obama is now a known entity and I am sure people in MI and FL are praying for that because most of them did not turn out to vote, knowing that their votes wouldn't count. Yeap, go ahead and hold the primaries so that we can widen the gap even further between Ohbama and Hillary. This will make it impossible for her to clinch the nomination even with super delegate backing her.

    Obama '08

    March 3, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. Babu

    In the future, states should be free to arrange its primary whenever it wants and DNC should not be able to dictate the date to them and delegates should be awarded to the winning candidate like the republicans do which is winner take all!

    March 3, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. AJ, IL

    This a strict Republican tactic to keep the Democrats divided for as long as possible. This re-do of Michigan and Florida primaries would be expensive. Who is going to pay for this? If Florida and Michigan want to pursue this re-do have them come up with a plan and cost for this re-do. This re-do primary should come out of the state budgets, then we will see how much interest Gov. Christ has in re-doing the primaries.

    Simply put, Michigan and Florida broke the rules.
    If my kid plays Pop Warner football again this year, I will tell him that once he catches the football, run out of bounds and then back in bounds later down the field to score a touchdown.

    Yeah, I know it sounds stupid, sort of like this talk about a Michigan and Florida re-do!

    Obama in 08!

    March 3, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. JustinA

    Michigan would prove a lot harder for Clinton if we re-vote. Wayne County, which is largely African American, has always won Michigan for the democrates. This is a place where Hillary's divisive tactics in SC would catch up with her.

    March 3, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. JB Cali

    Tyrell Evens,

    I'm not a Hillary fan, but on Earmarks, I would hope she's in the top ten. She represents a state that probably sends Washington DC the second most tax revenue in the country behind California. Not all Earmarks are bad.

    March 3, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. Babu

    McCain is already rotting! You will need the dump truck to toss him first.

    March 3, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. Todd C.

    yes, and let Edwards and Biden and Richardson BACK in the race. Change all the rules until you get what you want!

    OBAMA 08!

    A vote for McCain is a vote for a Bush 3rd term.

    March 3, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  21. MJ

    It's too little too late! Many are calling for Hillary to drop out of the race, only because she's behind by ~150 delegates, which is forcing her to put all her eggs in one basket- the tuesday primaries. Those who are calling for her to drop out are fearful that Obama will lose his momentum. I used to respect Jonathan Alter from Newsweek, but he shows journalistic bias in favor of Obama. Those who want to speak about rules should let the race continue until the 2,025 delegates are obtained. The Democratic party will never be as united as the Republicans, and electing a nominee when 1/4 of the Democratic party have not voted, will lead to further divide in the party.

    March 3, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  22. Mr. B.

    As a Obama supporter I say (and have said) let them be the last (in June) to vote. Primary or caucus lets go !

    America Is Ready
    Obama 08

    March 3, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  23. Praetorian, Ft. Myers,FL

    It would be just like Mr. Dean to vacillate, yet again, on important party issues.

    How can we trust the Democrats on critical issues–when they don't have the backbone to stand up to their own party the simple stuff.

    Once a decision is made–leaders live with it.

    By the way–many former Democrats in Florida will be voting Republican in November.

    Having my voting rights disenfranchised is something I don't take well, neither do my colleagues. The rampantly socialist, flippant and looney tunes idealism of the leading candidate...are too much unreality for me. I never joined the American Socialist Party.

    I'm now an independent Mr. Dean...and 50 more went with me.
    We'll be voting for McCain in November no matter what the DNC in it's ultimate wisdom decides.

    March 3, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  24. Lou

    'the rules are the rules and both Clinton and Obama agreed on them.
    Florida had its vote and decided to move their Primary up against the DNC Rules so noway should Florida be able to start all over again.
    Live with it."

    The rule is stupid and the punishment is worst...

    An do you MORON think that either Obama or Hillary is going to win the whitehouse without Florida. Do you think is fun to be desinfranchised twice in a decade on desitions not made by us...

    March 3, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. Tim Randolph

    Well of course, let's keep the Dem's fighting longer so we can unify around our man. Nice. I may have to switch to the GOP, looks as though they have their man, or woman you could say.

    March 3, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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