March 6th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
7 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. Nicole, IL

    They should do a re-vote, but the STATES should pay for it since it was the STATE'S leadership that moved the primary up in clear violation of the DNC rules.

    The DNC SHOULD NOT foot the bill for this.

    If not, then the delegates should be split evenly....

    Governors Crist should not be speaking on this matter because he clearly has something to gain. He should take to ensuring his spot on McCain's ticket!!!

    March 6, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. Tom in New Jersey

    Do the Clintons feel that negativity is their domain and only they have the right to it - as they seem to believe they have the right to the Presidency? Recent remarks by Senator Clinton are beginning to remind me of the Republican fear mongering that Democrats have been battling for years. It also points to "business as usual in Washington," should Senator Clinton be elected. Senator Obama should question Senator Clinton's foreign policy experience, and fight fire with fire.

    March 6, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. mother too

    way too much money is being spent on the elections. Florida and Michigan votes should be counted, this penalizing is ridiculous.

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

    Why should they do it over?? The voters voted and besides that both candidates even tho they didn't campaign there, their names were on the ballots!! Geez. The people there in those states have spoken already!!
    Oklahoma

    March 6, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Chuck

    I already voted in Florida and if I have to do it again I will change to the Republican Party. This Democratic Party is a joke.

    March 6, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. Jay

    Funny how some Florida legislators are so upset when they knowingly changed the date of the primary elections. especially considering the penalties were known.

    March 6, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. Terri in Texas

    Funny, no one wants to follow the rules anymore. I don't think the people of Florida and Michigan should be ignored, but why didn't they yell at their party leaders before the primary. If a do-over is to be done the Democratic parties in those states should have to pay for them. If they are to be counted then a do-over would have to be held as not all of the candidates were on the ballots. Of course, Clinton would love to have the elections stand as they already were, but then again, she doesn't care about fair and equal.

    March 6, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. Chuck in Oregon

    It was reported that both Michigan and Florida are considering using the existing votes. Give me a break, especially in Michigan where Obama was not on the ticket. Also from reports out of Florida, many of the democrats there did not vote because they knew their votes would not count. Thus the only way this will work is to have a re-do paid by the states, the DNC and the two candidates. Florida and Michigan are the ones that messed up, thus they should foot part of the bill. Crist is trying to make a name for him self at the expense of the DNC, but he is the one that brought this mess about. Crist needs to accept his part of this, its called taking responsibility for his actions.
    Other wise it should be a caucus. Obama should no be penalized for sticking to the rules. It appears to me that Hillary is trying to steal the nomination. BTW for Independent American: Hillary has been pushing this since Florida voted as well as her supporters from Florida and Michigan.

    March 6, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. Chris K

    This is nothing more than partisan BS from the Republican governor of Florida and the Clinton supporter governor of Michigan. The votes can not count as they were cast. Most people didn't vote because they knew there votes weren't going to count.

    If the USA can spend billions of dollars a month in IRAQ surely they can find a few dozen million to hold caucases in both states and let the people be properly heard.

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

    WOLF, I AM A FLORIDIAN WHO IS JUST ABOUT FED UP WITH THE DNC. WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE TELLING ME THAT MY VOTE DOSN'T COUNT . THEY DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT TO TELL ME THAT, SOME BODY SHOULD ASK HOWARD DEAN WHO DIED AND LEFT HIM BOSS, FLORIDIANS ARE A PROUD PEOPLE , SO DON'T PUSH US TO FAR OR YOU MIGHT FIND YOU HAVE A FIGHT YOU CAN'T WIN, ALSO PLEASE TELL HOWARD DEAN TO PLEASE STAY OUT OF FLORIDA, WE DON'T VERY MUCH.

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

    Crist wont put his money where his mouth is! Becuase he's just stirring the pot. He doesn't care if the Floridian's voices are heard, he just wants to generate conflict at the DNC.

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

    this is insane!

    here are the rules:

    FLA and MI, if you move up your primaries, you will be punished by having your delegates stripped.

    FLA an MI decided to flip the bird to the DNC and the rest of the county – in effect, agreeing to the punishment.

    so, how can ANYONE think it's ok to give them a second chance? what kind of message are we sending to kids – don't worry about the rules, they don't matter? feel free to act however you want, there won't be any punishment?

    it's madness.

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

    CNN.....you really need to finally post my comments....the Clinton News Network is getting reidiculous.

    No Do-Over! No delegates.

    Florida and Michigan broke the rules! The Clintons agreed to the plan when they thought they would win without MI and FL. The republican governor of Florida is wanting this to be a major issue because he wants to rip the party further apart. Also, the Republican Florida Governor would prefer to face the Clintons given the latest poll showing Obama beating McCain by 12%

    The voters in Florida need to get rid of the incompetent legislation which led them to their problem. But it is Florida and Michigan's problem. It is not a problem anywhere else in the country.

    And why does Puerto Rico have more delegates than Kentucky and West Virginia and Wyoming? They get 63 delegates and they are not even an official state of the USA? What??

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

    i am agree but i think both should pay for re voted

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

    obama was stupid not to have his name on the Mich. ballot and I told all so.
    The primary rules are so varied and stupid,.
    Who is the rocket scientist that decide who go 1st, 2nd, etc.
    The DNC and RNC are not interested in democracy anyway,
    it is just get my person elected so I can control the money and agenda for a few years.

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

    There are some basic bottom line facts that cannot be disputed. But Mr. florida with his lovely tan gives his rah rah speech about how everyone in America's vote should count as if it is someone elses fault these delegates can't be seated. It's his fault and he knew it at the time the decision was made to hold their primary early. They were told ahead of time. If their delegates cant be seated it is his fault. Why is he trying to make it sound like it is someone elses fault?

    March 6, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  17. deb in OH

    It's not fair to let FL and MI vote again. Give each candidate 50% of the delegates and let them go to the convention and represent their voters. Otherwise the Republicans are just trying to interfere in the democratic primary and steer the election just like OH and Tx.

    March 6, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. Frank Napolitano

    I have heard a lot of discussion about what to do with the Florida Delegates, and Michigan Delegates. I think that in Michigan, a do over is a must, and in Florida, since the playing field was fair you could count the votes already tallied, or you could do a do over. In no way is a caucus acceptable, they are confusing enough in the states that do them all the time, and Michigan and Florida are Primary states, and should conduct Primaries, not Caucuses. I have heard discussion of a mail in ballot process similar to an absentee ballot, and I think that would be acceptable as well. In no way should a caucus be done though, they are Primary States, not Caucus States.

    March 6, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Charlie Crist

    Wolf, this is the governor. I will do whatever it takes to get this primary happening. I repeat I will do whatever it takes to make sure the Democratic race stays divisive through the summer. Thanks.

    March 6, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. Todd

    M.I. & F.L. should just stay out of it .

    March 6, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. CHANGE IS COMING

    WOLF, can you tell the viewers who is PETER PAUL and what ties he has with the Clinton's.

    March 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. Jemini

    The only people that want a redo of Florida and Michigan are Clinton supporters. They know that is only way she might have a chance of victory. It has nothing to do with doing what's right for the voters in those states.

    March 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. Adiam48

    Florida and Michigan can have another chance at voting, but should pay for it. They broke the rules and should pay.

    Wolfe...why did they move up the primary anyway?

    March 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. joe

    GOVERNOR CRIST,

    THANK YOU FOR MAKING OUR VOICE, OUR VOTES HEARD. THIS

    WAS FLORIDA LARGEST VOTER TURN OUT AND IT WOULD BE A

    SHAME IF IT WAS DONE IN VAIN.

    MANY OF US WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT YOU IF YOU

    CAN MAKE OUR DEMOCRAT VOTES COUNTED...THIS IS CRITICAL

    PLEASE SHOW YOUR TRUE BIPARTISAN COLORS

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

    Wolf,

    You make a great point about the economic stimulus for the states of Michigan and Florida. Perhaps, a Democratic fundraising event could be held to fund new primaries, with a match by the states and the DNC. Six million dollars each would spread to costs to a manageable amount the states and DNC should agree to, so the voters can be heard. The states will benefit with millions of dollars of economic stimulus in these economically depressed states, due to high foreclosure rates.

    Thanks,

    Todd – Michigan

    March 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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