March 20th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
10 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. Craig, Seattle WA

    There are too many confounders to a redo at this point. For one, Clinton has been samelessly pandering for the states to count since she "won," despite having agreed to the national rules. Plus there is the cost of the whole thing. Add in caucuses being cheaper but "undemocratic" in Clinton's eyes and primaries being impossible to organize in Obama's and you have one big quagmire.

    March 20, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  2. Micheal

    The question isn't how hard it is. The question is, "Is it right?" The right path is rarely the easy path.

    March 20, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. Wanda Cahill

    The voting would be easy, but printing ballots, advertising, holding the votes and providing appropriate security for mail-ins, etc. would be tremendously expensive. In the case of Florida, since there was a record turn-out for the primary and both candidates on the ballot, it would be a waste of money. The DNC went too far with its silly rules to provide more influence for small states and now has to suffer its consequences. Some of us are definitely not going to be ready to support the party in the fall who didn't want our votes in the primary.

    March 20, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. Mike

    Obama for President of United 48 States of America!

    March 20, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. U-S-hooray


    In 2004, John Kerry became the presumptive nominee on March 2. In 2000, Al Gore became the presumptive nominee on March 7.

    In both of those years, all of the states that had primaries after early March had no say on who the nominee should be. That's just how it is, unless you have a national primary.

    March 20, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. Very Concerned American

    Wolf, I think that you are absolutely right. Put an X in front of you canidate's name. Done!

    The reason it is difficult is because of Obama. He wants to brag about his lead. If there was a primary he couldn't be able to brag.
    First he want's the American people to accept his mentor Pastor Wright, now accept that he doesn't think people's votes are fair.

    This man is destroying the chances for a Democrat to win this election.
    Am I missing something here?

    March 20, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  7. Very Concerned American

    Wolf, I doubt very much you will have many comments about this on your blog. The reason being is that most people that are writing on this site are pro Obama.

    March 20, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. Manuel TX


    A revote would not be THAT difficult.

    However, certain members of the DNC are backing Obama and they're not that interested in weakening his position with a revote.

    Personally I feel that the people in MI and FL should organize and either defer from voting in the general election or vote for McCain. Then the DNC will realize that the DNC is not about the leadership but the actual members of the Democratic party. 🙂

    March 20, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. Drew

    So if I voted for a Republican in the Michigan primary becuase I knew the Democratic vote was, at that time, null and void, now I can vote in the Democratic primary. I have two votes.

    Also if Florida would have counted for all democrats, could Edwards have had a stronger showing?

    Having a redo opens many more legal issues, and as we know in Florida, legal issues and voting are not kind to democrats, especially wiht a republican governor.

    March 20, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. Anita Teague

    Why can't the Democrat Party allow the Florida and Michigan Delegates to become super delegates and vote the way they think the people of their state would like for them to vote. I believe that if they were supposed to be seated at the convention then they probably know how their states would like for them to vote.

    March 20, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. Kim Kelly, Beaverton, OR

    All this talk about not disenfranchising two states. I wonder if this will lead to more aggressive attempts to improve the overall primary system. After all, in recent election cycles, 48 states – all but Iowa and New Hampshire – have arguably been disenfranchised!

    March 20, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. California Viewer

    Obama's actions to prevent primary do-overs is as indefensible as his long-running relationship with the Chicago slumlord Rezko and sitting in a church for 20 years listening to a "static" political discourse. We can thank Karl Rove for creating this Frankenstein of a candidacy, one intended to insure the demise of the Democratic Party by the time November rolls around. For more on the Rove strategy, I've posted an article at

    March 20, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. Terry Wood

    Wolf, it is about honest and integrity and there isn't a politician born that can attest to having any of that. Had Florida and Michigan abided by the rules they would not be in this position. They have no one to blame but their own ignorance and their Democratic state leaders.
    I feel no sorrow for them. I was taught honesty and integrity as a child.
    Your naivety in thinking a write in ballot with simply an x beside a name indicates that you know less about politics than I give you credit for.

    March 20, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. Gillis

    Yes. It would be froth with law suites.

    March 20, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. Hilda

    I feel they should have a re-vote. I feel that the Obama campaign is afraid at the results. As I said before, the truth was going to come out and it did. " People WAKE UP".

    March 20, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |

    obama would have to agree and he is not going to because it would be a landslide victory for hillary. it took some time but we are finally finding out about obama.lied about nafta, lied about the troops, lied about rezko and lied about hearing his pastor, his pastor is keeping racism alive.

    March 20, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. Shirley

    you are so right about the way the vote will go... Hillary"s people that I know have said they will vote for McCain, if Obama gets Dem.for Pres.

    March 20, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. Connie, Tn.

    If all states voted on the same day in a primary, this would solve the problem. Why did 2 states think they could break the rules? They would have a lot more input if they had kept their primaries on the date they were supposed to be held. Why do you have to declare your party affilate to vote in a Primary?? Let the best man/woman win. People should research the candidates and make an intelligent decision instead of going by labels.

    March 20, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. A&A

    just read this on yahoo!news

    Obama made a campaign stop at a sports bar in Charleston, W.Va., Thursday and met Jeff Lynch, 48, of Mount Pleasant, Mich.

    "When am I going to get to vote for you in Michigan?" Lynch asked.

    "Probably in the general election," Obama replied. "A redo vote is very complicated."

    can the man get more cockier and arrogant???do we want that in the White this new politics? rules are ok for the revote but superdelegates should follow the pledged delegates and not their own party given judgment....hell no...i don't want this man in the white house

    what are you afraid of Obama?

    March 20, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. James McBride

    The issue here in Michigan is that the recently suggested plan would not let everyone vote. Essentially anyone who didn't vote for "Clinton" or "undecided" the first time around would be excluded from voting this time. Since my favorite candidate honored a Democratic pledge to not put his name on the ballot, I didn't vote the first time, and I'd REALLY be disenfranchised if I also couldn't vote the second time.

    March 20, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. kathy from PA

    I agree with Sen. Chris Dodd that the delegates should be seated and split them in both states 50/50. This is only fair. That way the delegates will be seated at the convention.

    March 20, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Patrick Anthony Drake

    Patience is a virtue. The People will be heard.

    March 20, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. mary

    The problem in Michigan was it was an open primary and now they were going to restrict who could vote leaving only the democrats who already voted for Hillary to vote again and not allow potential Obama voters to vote. Not that simple, Wolf.

    March 20, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. Sue, NYC, NY


    Not complicated at all, as you describe it.

    However, there have been so many nuances proposed in both states' revoting and the DNC rules that your proposal which is the most sane & reasonable is far, far from what both states have proposed.

    March 20, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  25. Freida NYC

    Wolf, I totally agree with you!

    You are the only one in CNN that always makes a fair anlysis, and judgement among the political candidates. I hate to say this, but if they don't count the Michigan and Florida votes, it will dramatically hurt the democratic party. We will have no chance to win the general election. I can tell you i will become an independent voter if they don't fix this mess with MI and Fl. And under no circumstances i would ever vote for Obama. Is this the change that Obama has been talking about? Well, it seems that he is succceding, so far he is dividing the democratic party and the country with his racist followers.

    Obama please go home!

    HILLARY 2008

    March 20, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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