March 7th, 2008
08:28 PM ET
6 years ago

Levin: No practical or fair way to hold a Michigan re-vote

(CNN) - Michigan Sen. Carl Levin - one of the most powerful Democratic politicians in Michigan - has weighed in against a re-vote that would allow the state’s delegation to be seated at the party’s national convention this summer.

“Senator Levin doesn’t see at this time a practical and fair way to hold a ‘do-over’ election in Michigan given the immense financial and logistical hurdles, and in any event believes that a change in course would require acceptance by both candidates,” read a statement posted on his Senate Web site Friday.

Negotiations over a new vote - involving representatives from the state and national parties and the campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - hit a snag Thursday when the Michigan Democratic party chairman Mark Brewer said that it could cost as much as $10 million.

Levin’s statement said that unless an agreement was reached before August, the decision would fall to the Credentials Committee that certifies delegates – with their ruling subject to appeal to the full convention.

Michigan and Florida lost their voting power as a result of Democratic National Committee penalties for their decision to hold their primaries in January, despite party instructions.

The major candidates all signed an agreement that they would not campaign in either state before those votes, and most withdrew their names from Michigan’s ballot, with the exception of Hillary Clinton, who won both contests.

Levin has not backed any presidential candidate this cycle.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand


Filed under: Michigan
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Sue

    Just split Michigan and Florida delegates 50-50 and let them be seated. This is the only way out of this deadlock. That way no one can complain that delegates from 2 states were not seated.

    March 7, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  2. ray

    the delegate should be split according to the percentage tof delegates hat each canidate has accumulated imeadiately prior to the convention not including super delegates. Then everyone wins. A solution from FL.

    March 7, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  3. George from Minneapolis

    NEXT TIME DONT BREAK THE RULES AND YOU WONT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT A RE VOTE.

    YOU BROKE THE RULES, TAKE YOUR PUNISHMENT AND SHUT UP.

    March 7, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  4. Just Miss

    I feel sorry for Michigan and Florida too, but their politicians screwed them. i would suggest not voting for those same politicians again :)

    March 7, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  5. KE

    Problem with candidate who speak as though they represent all people.

    March 7, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  6. Manuel TX

    So if $10 Million could be raised, then Levin would have no excuse.

    I'd contribute money to finance a new primary in MI no problem.

    I'm sure that Obama is not afraid of a participating in a new primary in MI, so let's do this. :)

    March 7, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  7. Kay

    Who is the most important here? The voters or the candidates? The voters went to the polls in good faith and are now being told they can't participate because its not fair to the "candidates". give me a break. This election is about Americans being able to express their support for a person wanting to be our President...they have, and they should be allowed to have their efforts and votes count. It isn’t as if we are still in the years of the pony express where information on candidates is difficult to obtain. They are adults and knew exactly what they were doing when they went to the polls.

    March 7, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  8. James Recto, Independent from Texas

    Sounds to me that the democratic committee which is headed by Howard Dean has to come up with a solution. Democratic Primary, itself, has long been overdue for REDO and Mr. Dean should take the lead and come up with a better way to conduct the Democratic Primary. First though is to allow the states of Florida and Michigan to RE-VOTE! This is the only democratic way to resolve this issue because voitng is one of the very basic rights of every citizen of the United States of America.

    March 7, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  9. Ethel King

    No one ever interrupts Mr. David Gergen. But countless of the lesser, CNN guests do! Does CNN and./ or the commentator moderating these less well known guests realize how completely distruptive it is for viewers to hear two persons speaking at once? Can not the moderator interrupt? Cannot speaks be more polite. It does nothing except engender irritation on my part to hear two guests speaking simultaneously. Thank you.

    March 7, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  10. Sue

    Just re-do the election in both states. If Hillary wants it done, let her pay for it. Just make sure both names are on it this time instead of Hillary's cheating ways to have her name on only.

    GO OBAMA !!!!

    March 7, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  11. Grif

    Must be "seen to be done."...

    Fight the good: Fight! For Democracy

    March 7, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  12. Belle

    Today on CNN Carville offered 15 million on behalf of Clinton supporters to do a REVOTE in both Florida and MI, if Obama camp would do the same.

    Rules is Rules Obama's camp says. "But Mr. Obama does want the votes to count."

    Yet another double speak from Mr. Obama which means, I want MI and FL to vote for ME in the General, but Not count in the Primary.

    All votes should count. An election was held...and too bad, Obama didn't win....so he should either put his money where his mouth is, or just shut up!

    March 7, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  13. JOHN

    RECOUNT, HILLARY'S PISSED, NO RECOUNT OBAMA'S PISSED, HILLARY WANTS ALL THE VOTES AND DELEGATES, NOT. IF HILLARY REALLY WANTS SOLUTIONS YOU SPLIT THE DELEGATES 50/50 SEAT THEM AND MOVE ON. BUT YOU CAN'T CHANGE THE RULES TO FIT HILLARYS WISHES. IF YOU DO, IT'S OVER FOR THE DEMS. ALL OR ALMOST ALL OF THE OBAMA SUPPORTERS WILL NOT VOTE FOR HILLARY IN THE GENERAL. HILLARY MUST STOP TRYING TO DISTROY THE PARTY.

    March 7, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  14. steve

    I guess we do not live in a democratic country anymore....NO CITIZEN SHOULD BE DENIED TO VOTE.....the people of michigan and florida voted and their vote as is should stand.

    So if the democratic party does not want to honor the average citizens right to vote.....the voters should NOT be penalized for the govt moving the primary early for which the voters could do nothing about.

    So the democratic party is DENYING THE DEMOCRATIC RIGHT TO VOTE AND BE COUNTED.....

    I hope that the REPULBICANS WINS BOTH STATE BY LARGE MARGINS TO SHOW THE DEMOCRATS that right to vote and be counted DOES MATTER

    March 7, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  15. Sacre Bleu

    DNC needs to solve the problem. They created it, they need to solve it.
    Delegates don't count anyway. The SUPER DELEGATES will ultimately decide this contest. So shut up and let's hear from the candidates. Also get of this Tax returns and I was against the war from the beginning. We know that, now what are you going to to about me losing my house, illegal immigrants in my backyard and our soldiers. Do you want to bring them home or not? Say yes or no, then i will decide whether your deserve my vote or not.

    March 7, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  16. mk

    Both candidates agreed at the outset that the decision regarding Florida and Michigan was satisfactory and they AGREED to abide by the penalty imposed by the DNC. There were not "buts" in those agreements.
    We all wish we could have "do overs" in life when a decision is made that, in the end, doesn't work out to our advantage. That is why we call it LIFE.
    I say, these two can split the delegates 50/50 or suck it up and do without. We have spent too many hours, days, and weeks yammering about this.

    March 7, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  17. Lynn D

    Senator Clinton is not cheating. She won both the Michigan and Florida contests. Senator Clinton did leave her name on the Michigan ballot but Senator Obama's "uncommitted" folks campaigned against Senator Clinton and Senator Clinton won anyway. So she gets Michigan. In Florida, Senator Clinton and Senator Obama were on the ballot. No one campaigned and Senator Clinton won. So she gets Florida. I think it would be cheating if we have a re-do. The folks in Michigan and Florida already voted. They knew what they were doing. They aren't dumb. If we redo these two states, maybe we should redo the caucus states because hey Senator Clinton didn't win in those states and Obama did. I hear Senator Obama's people locked some on Senator Clinton's people out of the Texas caucuses. Do we want a president that is so hell-bent on winning that he will do just about anything to get there? Howard Dean-Save the folks in Michigan and Florida money. Just think of all of the people we could feed for 30 million dollars. They already voted in Michigan and Florida. Allocate the delegates according the districts where the candidates won and be done with it. It is the only fair way. DON'T WASTE ANYMORE MONEY.

    March 7, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  18. Kim Lee

    The only reason this is an issue is because of the power of the duplicitous Clinton machine to try to steal every possible vote. Even though Hillary was the only candidate dishonerable enough to put her name on the Michigan ballot, she almost lost to "No Preference", pretty sad to try to claim Michigan as a victory.

    March 7, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  19. Rick Terven

    All major democratic candidates signed a paper presented to them by the DNC to back away from Florida and Michigan because these states violated rules by changing the primary date to better their states advantage. I feel Senator Clinton now finds herself behind and wants to change the rules because she knows Senator Obama will end this race ahead of her.

    Someone needs to get real here. If the rules change to satisfy the few what does this say to all of those that abided by the rules.

    Whoever is ahead at the end with pledged delegates wins.

    March 7, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  20. maggier

    In my opinion the DNC's decision and penalty were dumb, but the rules were set out by the DNC and everybody - including candidates, party and state officials and voters in FL and MI - ostensibly was aware that the penalty was not going to be a joking matter.

    The time for addressing the appropriateness of the penalty was BEFORE the primaries, not AFTER. Rescheduling repeat primaries in MI and FL would be unconscionably costly , an untimely and devastating slap in the DNC's face, and an insult to Sen Obama and to the other candidates who abided by the DNC earlier decision.

    I hope that the DNC says that ruling will stand and that it's not going to change goalposts after games have finished. If the DNC gives into the Clintons, it may as well cancel the rest of the primaries and do what it must have always wanted to do: get the self-important, self-righteous and nakedly ambitious Clintons back into the White House.

    And I for one, a 64-year-old lifelong Democrat, will henceforth become an independent voter.

    March 7, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. Ash

    Its US democracy, not any Russian or nenezualan democratic sham.
    If Florida or Michigans delgates are seated without a would be a disgrace.

    March 7, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  22. CA boomer for CHANGE

    Rules were made and agreed to in advance by all parties involved. Why is my party such a bunch of whiners?? If the poor voters are upset, then they need to take it up with their state's leaders that signed the bill changing the dates in the first place....end of story.

    James Carville (a Clinton supporter) earlier today, suggested that both the Clinton and Obama campaigns should put up the money, up to $30K to finance a re-do of the primaries........ I have contributed to the Obama campaign, and I am not too pleased about the money I contributed being donated to resolve a problem that could have been avoided, but for the bumbling of the political leaders in Florida & Michigan. They will have another chance to vote for the nominee in the national election. May the games end soon..... geez, I am certain the Republicans are laughing their arsses off.

    March 7, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  23. Richard

    Even if a re-vote was done, costing millions of dollars, the possibility of there being any difference in the outcome would be minimal at best. Obama would win Michigan and Clinton would win Florida. And one of the other would come out with a few more delegates than the other. See, we're right back where we started. I say split them 50/50, save the money, and be done with it.

    March 7, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  24. doug

    50/50 on both states.

    March 7, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  25. David G

    No – not necessary

    1. The winner of Pennsylvania should be the nominee
    2. The loser concedes the nomination
    3. The existing delegates from Michigan and Florida can be seated

    I'm an Obama supporter, but he has yet to win a large state other than Illinois. If he loses he has to be the VP nominee or the Dems lose his young and independent voters and many black voters stay home. So, Hillary can win the nomination, but she needs Obama as VP to beat McCain with a whopping 50% + 1. Sad but true.

    Obama's only path to the presidential nomination, as I see it, is to win Pennsylvania. There is no reason to expect he would win Michigan or Florida if he loses Pennsylvania. Re-votes would only give him a slightly better delegate count.

    March 7, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
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