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. Willy

    Sure let's keep the nitwits on the left fighting.

    March 3, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Adam Orlando Florida

    This is still not a fair resolution, Hillary has already won, and I have already voted here in florida, but I would go to the polls again to VOTE FOR HILLARY!!

    March 3, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. Trey

    Someone was saying Clinton should be the Dem nominee because she has won CA, NY, MA, & claiming FL. First off, CA, NY, & NJ ALWAYS go Democratic (I will ignore the fact she is from the NY/NJ media market that skews this result). I mean what other campaign trumpets their home state as proof they will win the National election? Second, FL is one of only 4 states that had more Republican's vote than Democrats. Guess the others, Arizona (McCain’s home state), Utah (Romney supporters and a Mormon stronghold), and Michigan (the other state that didn't count. To try to claim Florida is a joke.

    The ONLY SWING states that have voted so far have been Louisiana, Missouri, & Virginia. Guess what, Obama won ALL THREE. Furthermore, Clinton can not win the general election. She is nothing more than Gore or Kerry 2008; a great guy according to Democrats, but unelectable.

    March 3, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. Bob

    A new vote is, of course, the only way within the rules to seat delegates from Michingan and Floriday. This would be a good thing. But I don't think there's much chance that a fair primary will help Hillary. But I would agree that a caucus would likely be even worse for her. Time for her to drop out.

    March 3, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. Hillary For Ohio NOT Obama!

    Things are now on Hillary's Side!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 3, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. Mad in Texas

    Yes, if they will not allow Florida's and Michigan's primaries then they need to have another one. All votes should be counted. I didn't think we would ever have another Bush take away like we did in 2000. But, here we go again only with the Democrats trying to keep HILLARY from getting elected. HILLARY 08

    March 3, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Jazz

    The people of FL did not violate the stupid rule. The republican controlled legislature in FL moved it up. The rule is UNDEMOCRATIC.
    The rule and delegate splitting has created this problem. If democrats
    used the winner take-all and closed primary system it WOULD be over now with Hillary having won the big state vote.

    No redo in FL. Both names were on the ballot and Obama's commercials ran in FL against the rules. Republicans and republican-leaning independents will have a chance to interfere. In MI Obama voters were told to vote uncommited. They did. Count them or don't count on them in November thereby spotting McCain 44 electoral college votes. Real Democrats Don't Quit!!!

    March 3, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. scott c

    Flordia&Michigan knew the rules and wanted to BULLY their way to the front of the line but got caught and thrown out of the process-PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

    March 3, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. clarity

    The question should NOT be 'Could Florida's Republican governor help Clinton?' But rather 'Could Florida's Governor stop his electorate from being disenfranchised?'

    It's a good idea for Florida and Michigan to re-hold their primaries. That way they don't break the rules of having the primaries out of order, as the initial votes will not count. And the Population of those states will still get to have a say. After all it's not the voters fault that their primaries were moved.

    It's the only way that America can still hold itself up as a beacon of democracy!

    March 3, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. Jasmine - AZ

    Rules are rules, and Hillary Knew what this rules were when she entered the race...

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

    Why did you let your last guest get away with lying? Obama wrote 2 letters on behalf of a 14 million dollar project for Tony Rezko while in the IL state senate. Last Monday, the judge ruled that $10,000 in contributions from Rezko to Obama could be admitted as evidence in the trial. Obama then hired the son of the man, currently in jail as a result of the crimes committed in conjunction with Rezko, who made the money transfer. More over, Obama is the political candidate named in the indictment. Do you not know this stuff, or do you intentionally ignore it when conducting partisan interviews?

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

    No Wolf, the Florida Governos could not help Hillary. He is the only one with a level and fair head. It is ridiculous that the democratic party, plays this kind of dictatorial policies, just becasue a state decides to have its primary earlier. Let the voice of the people be heard. Moving forward get rid out off the delegates.

    GO HILLARY 2008 and 2012

    March 3, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. B. Smart

    People , , , , no matter how much we think we are influencing others with
    our opinions, the only thing that matter now are the exit polls tomorrow night.

    OBAMA 08!

    March 3, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. Andrew from Miami

    It is a huge favor to the Floridian Democrats, since A PRIMARY prevents further disenfranchisement of my fellow Floridians!!

    Wolf Blitzer you are an Obama lover- just admit it!!!

    March 3, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. B. Smart

    People , , , , no matter how much we think we are influencing others with
    our opinions, the only thing that matters now are the exit polls tomorrow night.

    OBAMA 08!

    March 3, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. Bonnie

    Geez, Wolf, could you be any more obvious? We all know you want Clinton to win. At least try to disguise it a bit so you don't turn CNN into just another FAUX News-ish target for ridicule.

    March 3, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. Paul in NYC

    Crist, the political genius!!! Spoken like a true Republican.......let's show our support for HRC, she can't beat any Republican ticket, which I'll be on!!!

    March 3, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. From PA


    March 3, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. joe








    March 3, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. RT

    Did you Hillary supporters actually read this article? The Canandian government even said, "In the recent report produced by the Consulate General in Chicago, there was no intention to convey, in any way, that Senator Obama and his campaign team were taking a different position in public from views expressed in private, including about NAFTA. We deeply regret any inference that may have been drawn to that effect."


    You folks are so gullible!! I am so sick and tired of these uneducated Clinton supporters believing in such bile! You guys really need to educate yourself on these two candidates, where they stand on the REAL issues, WHAT they've stood for in the PAST, and WHERE they want to take us in the future. If she gets the nomination, you morons can thank yourselves for rolling out the Red Carpet for John McCain's entrance into the white house.

    March 3, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. ELombardi

    Personally, I think the DNC has made the mess it's now trying to clean up. They need new leadership. Having said that, I think this year's primary shows us the need for a better primary system. How about having four or five primaries: The West Coast, The South, The Midwest, and the North East? Candidates would be able to travel to each region and spend time meeting voters, and the system would be easier for everyone. And hold the primaries on Saturdays, with early voting available for the week prior to the primaries. Then schools wouldn't have to close, and more people would have an opportunity to vote if given a week to do so. Saturday primaries would allow more people to volunteer and more to get to the polls than on a week day.

    March 3, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. MJ

    Who the hell is moderating these messages???

    It's too little too late!!! Almost every Obama backer is already suggesting that Clinton drop out of the race for only being behind by 150 delegates. I think there's at least 1,500 delegates left to be allocated, so there's clearly a fear that Obama is losing his momentum. If rules are rules, then let this play out until the 2,025 delegates are obtained. To suggest that if Hillary Clinton stays in the race will lead further divide w/in the Democratic Party is absurd. I have news for you, no matter what, the Democratic Party will NEVER be more unified than the Republicans. To have Hillary Clinton drop out with so many delegates remaining will lead to further divide in the party. Get real people!!!!

    Hillary '08

    March 3, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. RobNSF

    I'm impressed with the Florida governor. He is actually doing what he is supposed to do – looking out for the residents of his state, whih included disenfranchisement. Weren't there over 1M who voted in the primary? AND, weren't there more who didn't vote because they believed their votes would count. Doesn't this allow those voters a chance to voice their opinion(s)?

    March 3, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Lou

    The only way to get this party on the go and in shape is by having all the votes counted... including Michigan and Florida.

    March 3, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. dale in indiana

    cnn.... why are you not posting my comments..are you afraid i'm printing the truth and you don't want hillary in.

    March 3, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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