March 6th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Blitzer: Florida and Michigan could yet be pivotal

Blitzer: Florida and Michigan should consider paying for new primary contests.
Blitzer: Florida and Michigan should consider paying for new primary contests.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Whatever it costs the taxpayers in Michigan and Florida to re-do their primaries – whether it’s $18 million or $25 million or even $30 million – would almost certainly be money well spent for their states. That’s because those states potentially stand to gain a lot more from having another round of what could be critical presidential primaries.

The Democratic Party stripped Florida and Michigan of their delegates because they moved up the date of their primaries in violation of party rules. If Michigan and Florida have primaries in June after the last scheduled Puerto Rico Democratic caucuses on June 7, and neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama yet has the needed number of convention delegates, those two states will become the center of the political universe.

Think about how many millions of dollars will be pumped into the Michigan and Florida economies. The two campaigns alone will spend millions in political advertising. Other outside political interest groups will pump in millions more in commercials. The hotels, restaurants and other related industries in the states will be in high demand.

Both of those states will also gain an enormous amount of publicity, not only in the United States but around the world. It would be a bonanza for their respective tourism industries. Just think about the coming economic gain for Pennsylvania which holds its primary on April 22. This is one of the best things to happen to that state in a long time.

Remember - those are key factors why both Iowa and New Hampshire are always so diligent in preventing other states from usurping their first-in-the-nation status for the presidential contests. People there make a lot of money from their caucuses and primary.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean says the national party can’t afford to foot the bill for another round of primaries, and that the states should pay for a re-do of the votes. (Normally, states pay for primaries; political parties pay for caucuses.) Politicians in Florida and Michigan say they don’t have the cash. That, however, may be a shortsighted stance.

One can make a very strong case that two more potentially-decisive primaries – with hundreds of delegates at stake - would not only determine the Democratic presidential nominee, but would in effect become a significant economic stimulus package for both of those states. It would be an amazing cap to an already amazing political season.

– CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer


Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (247 Responses)
  1. DO THE MATH!!!

    If we want to be fair MI and FL should do a do over....anything less will not be accepted unless the delegates are split 50/50... either way...

    OBAMA IS THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE..... DO THE MATH!!

    ...IF YOU KNOW HOW TO COUNT!!

    March 6, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Independent American

    why was this not brought up when Hillary was up by delegates? She's trailing now and all the sudden those states want to be counted!

    March 6, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  3. Wayne, Greenville TX

    I think they should have caususes in both states – with the cost paid by a three-way split between the DNC and teh Clinton and Obama campaigns. In that way, the cost would be borne by Democrats, and the Republicans can't complain about the use of tax dollars for a partisan purpose.

    March 6, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. Chris

    I guess we should all hope that Obama and Clinton talk about joining forces… If they do not neither one of them has a chance to win in November… If you read all of your comments it seems that all of you keep "saying" you will not vote for the democratic candidate whoever it is… you call yourself a democrat???

    I can not believe that the man that is running on change and talking about unity… is not even willing to talk about uniting the party… if Hillary is so horrible why did she all ready throw it out there… maybe she has come to the conclusion that neither one of them will win enough delegates… If you do the numbers they will end up within a few delegates of each other…

    Democratic party has a mess that they created… they need to sort this out before half of you revolt… the half that supports Clinton or the half that supports Obama

    March 6, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. joe

    AND MOST IMPORTANTLY THE VOICE...THE VOTES..FROM THE

    LARGEST FLORIDA VOTER TURNOUT WILL FINALLY BE HEARD

    AND IF OBAMA IS TRUE TO HIS WORDS...ITS NOT ABOUT RED

    STATE OR BLUE STATE ITS ABOUT UNITED STATES..

    ACTION SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.....

    March 6, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. vanchava

    I shocked at the amount of Obama haters are on here. 55 MILLION is unbelieveable. THIS IS GREAT NEWS FOR OBAMA BECAUSE A RECOUNT IS EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED. SHE WON BY LARGE MARGINS FOR NOTHING. OBAMA WILL GET MICHGEN (AFRICAN AMERICAN POPULATION) AND IT WILL COME CLOSE IN FLORIDA ( HISPANIC AND AFRICAN AMERICAN EQUAL OUT)

    March 6, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. Johnboy

    I notice the Obama supporters really insult anyone with a different opinion. They call Clinton Supporters stupid and ignorant and uneducated.

    Funny, but most of the Clinton supporters are the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings of the Obama supporters.

    So you insult the very people who loved you and nurtured you and educated you. Obviously education is no substitute for intelligence and common sense.

    Obama supporters epitomize and illustrate the saying: THE DUMBING DOWN OF AMERICA.

    March 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. Patrick

    At best Obama takes Michigan, Clinton takes Florida. At worst we have a repeat of March 4 where the delegates are essentially split right down the middle.

    I think FL/MI should re-vote just so they'll shut the hell up about it. But I don't think it will have as big an effect as everyone might think it will. This race is done, in the next 7 weeks Obama will negate Clinton's lead in PA (another split just like Ohio and Texas), in the meantime picking up an even bigger delegate lead in MI and NC. 11 Superdelegates have endored Obama since Tuesday, expect that trend to continue as well.

    March 6, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. Jay Graham, Dallas, TX

    Let the votes cast by the people stay as it is. Those who did not vote earlier are only allowed this time.

    March 6, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Cathy

    All voters need to be counted when it is this close. Primary is the only way. Caucuses should be banned!!!!

    March 6, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. Bryan

    Why is this even an issue? The states broke the rules, instead of crying over spilt milk, they shouldn't have broken the rules in the first place. Now they're all wining about how they don't count, but there was no outrage on the day of their respective primaries. Unless they come up with some plan to use caucuses, there should be no way in hell that their votes should count. Rules are rules. Dean MUST stay strong on this.

    March 6, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. HILLARY SCAM

    Hillary wants to scam the voters who did not vote because they were told that the votes wouldn't matter!!!! It is only fair to give MI and FL time to vote again..

    Besides we need to know more information about PETER PAUL'S LAWSUIT AGAINST THE CLINTONS!!

    ANOTHER CLINTON SCANDAL!!!

    March 6, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Belle

    Wolf,

    Because of the BACKLASH for NOT counting the vote, The Democratic Party will LOSE Florida, and most likely Michigan in the General Election.

    Crist is VERY smart. He is fighting for the vote to count on behalf of ALL voters. So is Michigan's Govenor. THIS will ensure they get another term in office.

    However, Dean and the Democratic National Committee will look like Corrupt Politicians they are...."AFTER ALL RULES IS RULES"

    Obama does NOT want the vote to count because HE LOST in spite of HIS TV Ads....funny....DNC did NOT pull HIM out of the race completely or Take HIS delegates away as a penalty for NOT OBEYING THE RULES!

    Clinton wants the vote to count...she won.

    Any way you look at it, the DNC looks like a bunch of Idiots with Mr. Dean at the top! Smart move from a Republican Govenor. It is a No lose situation.

    March 6, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. mona

    For the sake of the party it should be done.If ,not it will definitely affect the general election. Start with a clean slate.

    PRESIDENT HILLARY 08

    March 6, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. La Raza

    This may be catastrophic for the party. No credibility in the established rules?

    March 6, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Grif

    My comment?

    Whatever is done! Must be seen, to be done. Or Why do I vote?

    Say most folk, it never changes my life much.. Now they want to tell the country... Even if you do: We will tell you if your vote counts.

    Already on normal turnout, they aren't that big. This one is exceptional. But what about all the future Elections...

    Still like most I do have a Bias.... My Comment as an outsider...

    March 6, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. displeased in Texas

    stoking the fire...

    This is creating news, not reporting it. It's the sort of ruminating that strongly influences public conversation and opinion.

    In this case, such discussion only helps Clinton.

    March 6, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  18. Frank, Dayton, Ohio

    Wolf, you make a good point. As the governors of these two states squabble about the price of a re-vote, they forget how the return on their investment could help them. All they would need to do is figure out how to capitalize on their ability to be so pivotal in the Democratic contest.

    It shouldn't be too hard: most politicians and bureaucrats have an easy time figuring out how to squeeze money out of people doing business in their state.

    March 6, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. HILL YEAH!

    Well take some of the money that the candidates are getting for contributions to help pay for it!

    Oh wait, NObama's people don't want a revote, because they will LOSE AGAIN.

    CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT!!

    March 6, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. Michelle, VA

    For sure, it wouldn't be fair for the totals of the primaries to remain as is, considering Obama was left off the ballot in Michigan. However, "Florida and Michigan...moved up the date of their primaries in violation of party rules." What's the purpose of having rules if they can be broken and then mended? What the citizens of Florida and Michigan should do is march to the polls and vote the elected officials who are responsible for this fiasco out of office. It's apparent that they lack the wisdom necessary to govern well. The monies that would be spent to hold another primary can be better spent helping the citizens of both states with other issues that plague them.

    Let this be a lesson to all. Despite public opinion, rules are not made to be broken but followed. If you can't follow the rules, you can't play in the game.

    March 6, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. John

    Seems like one of the problems in our country today is that we make rules, regulations, even laws and when others complain, if they have a enough clout, everything changes.......somehow it doesn't seem right.

    I understand the desire of the people to have their vote counted but it seems to me that the Democratic Party is to blame......and yes, the people suffer but America isn't to blame.

    Does it sound right to you that someone in high places can change the rules after the game is almost over?

    March 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. H. Johansson

    If the MI and FL primaries are re-done, are there any polls out there showing who is in the lead and by how much?

    March 6, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. GaVoter

    I changed my mind and want a re-vote too! This is voter disenfranchisement at its worst!!

    Something I use to expect from just republicans!!!

    March 6, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Bayou Joe

    Say No to Re Do. Hillary won, Hillary won, both Florida and Michigan.
    Give her the delegates..A redo will harm her campaign and help Obama.

    March 6, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  25. John Burger

    Seems to me if the Democratic Party wanted to end this fight they could do so today…

    Solution: John Edwards and his 23 pledged delgates

    If John would come out and endorse Barack Obama, his lead would be that much larger, and it would allow cover for super delegates to go to his side….then they could put him over the top.

    This would be well within the rules and be fair.

    Nobody is reporting this angle…John Edwards holds the key from keeping the Democrats from tearing the party apart…and it is the responsible thing to do….standing aside is standing for the Republicans.

    Florida and Michigan would be side stories…

    March 6, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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