March 20th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
7 years ago

Blitzer: Would a re-vote be that difficult?

 Re-votes in Michigan and Florida appear increasingly unlikely.
Re-votes in Michigan and Florida appear increasingly unlikely.

(CNN) - It’s too bad that Michigan and Florida don’t seem to be able to get their acts together to have Democratic presidential primary re-votes in early June.

For those of us who cover politics, it would have been very exciting to see two more fiercely fought primaries in two critically important states.

But more importantly, it will be a pity for all those millions of Democratic voters in those states if their delegates wind up having no say in the selection of their party’s presidential nominee at the party convention in Denver at the end of the summer. And the ramifications for the party from that could be very significant in November.

The Democrats in Michigan and Florida lost their delegates because they moved up their primaries to January against Democratic Party rules.

Some of those frustrated Democratic voters will walk away from this process with an awful taste in their mouths. And it’s possible that could convince some of them to actually vote for John McCain or Ralph Nader in the fall or simply stay home and not vote at all. At least, that’s what some of those voters are telling reporters and pollsters now.

There is still time for the Democratic National Committee and the presidential campaigns to work out some other compromise that allows the delegates to be seated without having make-over primaries. Indeed, I still suspect something along these lines will occur.

But I still don’t understand why it became so complicated to organize these make-over primaries. The actual ballot would have been rather simple – you could vote for Clinton or Obama. Put an X in front of your candidate. How difficult is that?

– Wolf Blitzer


Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (228 Responses)
  1. Pamela Dodson

    Why is it so hard to abide by rules and procedures? Both Florida and Michigan knew what would happen IF they went against the RULES and PROCEDURES.

    March 20, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. LMC

    I agree. If both candidates wanted it done, it would get done. I also read recently a report by two Michigan delegates that New Hampshire broke the rules by going out of order and voting earlier than their stated range in the DNC's new rules. Why weren't they punished?

    March 20, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. Kathy

    chads, chads and more chads. How short is our memories.

    March 20, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. suzan

    Blitzer if that is that important why you did not speek early when they decided to move the election and did not follow the rule ? is his double standard or something?

    March 20, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Proud white woman of 63 for obamaman

    Whatever Michigan and Florida want to do. Hillary will pay for it.

    March 20, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. im4hillary, GA

    It could be that simple, Wolf. The real problem here is that Dean and Pelosi don't want to see Hillary win the nomination at this point. They are doing thier stuff in the back ground. If the re-vote happens, Hillary would win. Now they prefer Mccain win in November, at least indirectly. Is it my conspiracy theory? No! With out FL and MI, dems will not win in general election.

    March 20, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. SH

    Come on, Wolf. You know it's not that simple. But, of course, a revote adds to CNN ratings.

    The problem is that some Democrats who would have voted for Barack Obama voted in the Republican Primary because they were told that a democratic vote would not count. In a revote, they would not be able to vote for Obama. That is unfair.

    The DNC made a huge mistake in the beginning. If they were not going to stick with the consequence, they should not have made the threat in the beginning. The only fair way to do a re-vote would be to allow ALL Democrats to revote, regardless of whether they voted in the Republican Primary or not. I know that's against the rules, but who cares about rules, right????

    March 20, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Noel

    Wolf,

    The people of FL and MI voted knowing full well that their votes will not be counted. They also know that in this country everything is governed by laws and rules, so why is it so hard for you, Hillary and the people of FL and MI to understand that a revote would cost tons of money and time. In the first place, Obama and Edwards did not campaign and withdrew thire names from the ballot. Just split the delegates equally. Reason 1) The DNC made a big blunder. 2) There should have been no names on the ballots 3) If hillary was leading she would not have paid any attention to the disenfranchised people of FL and MI. So I think to give the people some rights split them equally. Noel

    March 20, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. Maria

    Why are people talking about re-votes. The rules are the rules. If you don't like them, then contact your elected officials whom created this mess and stop blaming the candidates.

    March 20, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. Marguerite Nash

    Probably not, Wolf. But when you have 10 millionaire who want to pay for the re-vote who support Hillary Clinton, I think you have to stop and pause. Do we want a Presidency that is bought or do we want to have a legal one? Hillary said in the beginnings those votes were not going to be counted. She agreed to the DNC rules. You can't change the rules to suit one person. It is not fair no matter how easy the re-vote would be.

    March 20, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. TheLeftNut

    If it's so easy, may YOU should go overthere and organize it.

    March 20, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. Proud white woman of 63 for obamaman

    Whatever!!!! Just Do It? Hillary can pay with her millions!
    The more people in Mich. and Fla hear, the less they like
    Hillary.

    March 20, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. Bron Faison

    You are right, it wouldn't be difficult if they really wanted to do it. The Obama campaign has thrown mud in the works at every opportunity and their political sympathizers in the party will never let it happen. So what does that tell you? You guys go after the Clintons all the time, so why not call the Obama campaign on this, Wolf?

    P.S. And why does CNN let Jack McCafferty run daily rants against Hillary Clinton disguised as questions for the viewers? It's gone on so long it's beyond obvious. How about a fair shake for everyone?

    March 20, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  14. Gary

    Wolf, Wolf, Wolf... Simplistic comments like this are the reason this former CNN junkie now spends his news time surfing for more mature opinion and discourse. If it were that simple, why does every state have an elected official whose primary role is to oversee elections. Elections are easy... fair and certifiable elections are far from it.

    Your suggestion could probably hold true in a caucus run by the party, but as you know, there is one campaign would never agree to that, either.

    March 20, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  15. Mara in NYC

    Wolf,
    It's not difficult. The sad thing is that it would be a done deal if all the parties involved would put the voters' interests ahead of their own.

    March 20, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  16. Barb

    It wouldn't be difficult but it's hard for stubborn people to change things....The fact that this race has become so close, shows how important it is to allow the re-vote. There is a sad mentality in the world, that says....if I don't get it my way I will retaliate...If Obama takes the nomination that mentatitly will cost the Democrats the Race!!

    March 20, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. Kim, Studio City, CA

    You are right. There is no reason that a re-do cannot be organized in Michigan or Florida. This is ridiculous. My opinion: the DNC better organize and have these do-over votes, or they will lose in November.

    March 20, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. Polly

    I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Party officials in both Florida and Michigan knew that they were breaking the rules and that there would be penalties. What sort of message would it send out if the penalties were not followed through. It is just not acceptable to break the rules and then threaten to punish the whole country by suggesting they will not take part in the November election.

    March 20, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. TD Friedman

    OK Wolf. You can count all 2.7 million votes and get back to us when you are done. It costs money to do this and someone has to be willing to certify the results. Will you take the liability for that?

    Just because it would make for good TV does not make it a good idea. You do your job and let the states of MI and FL do theirs. It works better that way.

    March 20, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. Bron Faison

    One more thing, I forgot to mention that it's the Obama campaign's fear that revotes would help give Clinton a possible lead in the popular vote that means they will never let it happen. This is the man who claims to be above 'old-school politics' - yeah, right!

    March 20, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. Jason

    Wolf,
    You're incredibly dull. How hard can it be to send millions and millions of people a valid mail in ballots and organize the tallying as well as all the other complications of trying to implement an election inside of a month and a half? Are you really a senior news guy? Well in this country I guess anything is possible, just ask Bush!

    March 20, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. GoodForMCcain

    Give it up wolf you are not going to pursuaid any body. Break the rules expect to pay the price.

    March 20, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. S. Rice (Queens, NY)

    Why are we trying to bend over backwards for these two states?? They were told in plain terms: Move your primary up and you will be stripped of delegates. Florida and Michigan chose to ignore the warning, so now they MUST suffer the consequences. NO ONE is to blame but the state leadership themselves! You cannot change the rules in the 3rd quarter!!

    March 20, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. Enrique

    Wolf, are you a paid Clinton staff member? If CNN made some rules on what you can and can not do on the job and then you decide to break them, would they just let you get away with it?

    March 20, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. Kathleen

    Wolf, I think the problem is everyone would not get to vote over again and also Obama did not campaign which I don't think would be fair. People would judge him only on what's going on in the Media. They should have the right to hear him campaign as well as Hillary. Anyway what bothers me is everyone is concerned about the voters voting but the blame of all of this should be on the ones that changed the primary to be earlier. Therefore, the voters should not blame the Democratic candidates who had nothing to do with changing the primary dates to move it up earlier.

    March 20, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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