April 4th, 2008
02:05 PM ET
10 years ago

Michigan Dems rule out new vote

Michigan voters participated in the states primary on January 15.

Michigan voters participated in the states primary on January 15.

(CNN) - Michigan Democrats will not to go to the polls again to choose a presidential nominee, even though the national party has refused to recognize the results of their vote in January, the party announced Friday.

"We have concluded that it is not practical to conduct such a primary or caucus," the state party's executive committee said in a written statement. But they added they will continue to work with the Democratic National Committee and elected officials to ensure that the state is represented at the party convention in Denver this August.

Michigan Democrats held their primary earlier than national party rules allowed. The Democratic Party responded by refusing to seat Michigan’s delegates at the convention.

Many Democratic candidates, including Sen. Barack Obama, removed their names from the Michigan ballot after the DNC’s decision, leaving Sen. Hillary Clinton as the only major contender in the state.

Clinton got 55 percent, while 40 percent of the state's voters opted for "uncommitted.”

Clinton said Friday the party had to find a way to avoid “disenfranchising” 600,000 Michigan voters. “Those votes have been cast…. So the Democratic party is going to have to come to grips with whether or not we want to be like the Republicans and disenfranchise people or whether we will stay true to the voting-rights record of this party.”

Filed under: Michigan
soundoff (358 Responses)
  1. Dan in CO

    ""Michigan voters disenfranchised….courtesy of Barack Obama!""

    Actually, I know several people who have decided to back Obama in large part due to people so unfairly trying to pin the disenfranchisement of Michigan and Florida on him. In doing so, you surrendered any sympathy many people might have had for those state's citizens.

    So, I guess you're someone I should thank for the added support of my candidate.

    April 4, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  2. ann

    Hillary should get her 55% and Obama the 40%.

    That is more than his fair share considering some of those uncommitted voters were for Edwards instead of Obama.

    50/50 is not acceptable.....

    April 4, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  3. Howard

    She was a snake for leaving her name on that ballot. Everyone including her agreed to follow the rules and remove their name she should not get to benifit for being dishonest. If she was not loosing this would not have been an issue.

    Follow the rules.

    OBAMA 08

    April 4, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. Former Obama Supporter

    Thanks to the Obama and his campaign, Michigan won't have a voice.

    April 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. Tjaye

    I'm just waiting to see how she tries to spin this as Obama prevented this from happening.

    April 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. D.W.; Miami, FL

    A note to Senator Clinton, Bill Clinton, and others who are prone to "misspeak." (This includes you Matthew).


    Let's move on now. Thanks for coming, we have some nice parting favors for you at the door.

    April 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. Stacy Clarks,

    "Matthew April 4th, 2008 2:05 pm ET

    Michigan voters disenfranchised….courtesy of Barack Obama!"

    Im sorry, but was Barack Obama there when they officials of the state decide to beark the rules?

    was Clinton "sleep-deprived" when she signed the agreement that he votes will not count?!?!

    did Barakc Obama force the state officials to break the rules?

    was Barakc Obama the one to strip the delegates because they broke the rule

    All Barack Obama did was follow the rules, and he is being blamed?!?!


    OMABA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. gee gee

    I am really confused about this Florida/Michigan problem.

    We know that Sen. Clinton was the only name on the Michigan ballots We know that Sen. Obama did not campaign in Florida. Sen. Clinton claims that she did not campaign in Florida, but we've heard that she gave some kind of speech or fundraiser in Florida, so I'm not too sure about this.

    A lot of people keep saying the votes should count as is.

    My question is this........What about all of those people who did not go out to vote because they were told that their votes would not count because these two places broke the rules??? Am I missing something here?

    April 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. Barack Obama

    Michigan, you're welcome

    April 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. Former Obama Supporter

    Thanks to Obama and his campaign, Michigan won't have a voice. If he gets the nomination, then don't expect their vote in the general election.

    April 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. stuart_zechman

    This disenfranchisement of the great people of Michigan only proves again that Obama is not a true leader and that he will do anything including cheat to win. How can we as democrats condone disenfranchisment when that was what caused our President Gore to have the election stolen by the shrub? How can we tolerate this injustice to the people of Michigan? How can we?

    I will not now under ANY circumstances vote for Obama if Hillary is not the primary winner – I will sit and home and blame you Obamabot ignoramouses for McLame winning in Novemeber and another 1000 years of Iraq will be on YOUR heads.

    April 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. matt

    Its all up to dean to make em count

    April 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. Justine, Cincinnati

    Thank you Vince for reminding all the nasty, rude, and misinformed Clinton supporters that Barack had nothing to do with MI not being counted and deciding not to have a revote. Sheesh.

    And really?!?!?!, Jaymes, 21, Clinton supporter... Barack was RESPECTING the DNC when he took his name off the ballot. Unlike Hillary. Obviously, just from this incident, she'll do anything to win.

    It's so obvious now. Why doesn't she stop wasting her donors money and pull out? Seriously?

    April 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. California Independent

    Aaaaw Jenn...... such a struggle to decide who to vote for.... oh, the hand wringing, oh the angst of it all....... get a grip, it's politics.

    Obama played a game in taking his name off at the time. He looked like a hypocrite pandering to the other states at the time. He made a dumbheaded choice and it's come back to bite him in the rear end. If you want to put someone who has no legislative experience, in fact someone who 'misspeaks' and has repeatedly tried to take credit for the work of others, go ahead and try. His whole record in Illinois is a farce except for a little bit of community organizing to get out the vote and some work on the death penalty. He tried to take credit for the work on the immigration bill and got slapped down for it, he tried to take credit for Frank/Dodd and got slapped down for that. The guy is a wimp and a phony. I thought there was a chance we would end up with a woman in the White House, I just don't think anyone imagined it would be Obama.

    If it isn't Clinton, McCain '08

    April 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. Geez...

    I am a Democrat and have been for many years. But I will be the first to admit that the Democratic leadership over the years has shown that they are not the sharpest tools in the shed. Why do they continue to make ghastly mistakes over and over again? I wish they could learn from the past and learn to strategize. They collapse to easily now.

    April 4, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. Peter in Canada

    Split the "uncommited" vote...you got to be kidding!!
    IF you were to try and interpet that "vote" the only rational result would be Clinton 55% Anybody but Clinton 45%.
    Why would anybody gove her any part of the uncommited vote?
    Doesn't matter anyway since accepting the existing vote would be about as valid as any other straw poll that Michigan radio stations want to take. Pick pizzas, burgers, dogs, milkshakes...those kind of votes are just as valid.
    Unless I really don't get the US legal system, there ain't no way on earth that an apportionment of these votes happens without Obama's approval!

    April 4, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Adam, LV, NV

    If anyone should be blamed for this mess, it should be Iowa and NH... They are the ones that whined that they should have the all powerful voice and should be heard first. And the DNC again as usual showed the country they don't have a pair and said OK, you win Iowa and NH...

    Now the DNC again shows they don't have a pair because they will seat the delegation probably using the vote and giving the uncomitted to Obama.

    Now don't get me wrong, the votes should count. Obama pulled his name off the ballot to pander to Iowa voters. If you really want to do something that stupid, you should face the music. He wanted to play the game, why does he get to change his mind now that he has gotten the reward for pulling his name off in the first place? Hillary could have well buried herself in NH by leaving her name on the ballot. That gamble however did not hurt her it seems. Obama made a caculated risk. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

    The DNC and the candidates should have stood out straight away and said it is each state's right to hold their event when they want. Why should the DNC be allowed to say when anyways, it's not like they actually pay for the primaries...

    April 4, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. Amy-Cincinnati

    You mean we really have to follow the rules that everyone agreed to months ago?

    April 4, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. Ron


    I am from Michigan and I think if the people of Michigan are P.O'd about the Primary not counting..

    Find the names of EACH and EVERY person in the legislature who moved it after being warned...AND VOTE THEM OUT!!! If they had left at in it's original date, Michigan would have been SUPER IMPORTANT!!! Hillary and Barack would have spent MANY days here instead of NONE!!

    Our legislature SCREWED us not the Democratic National Commitee!!

    April 4, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. PA voter

    I love it after all why should Michigan and Florida get a second chance to vote. Thats only rewarding them for breaking the rules the first time around. However I do fill sorry for the voters of these 2 states, but you can't blame Clinton or Obama you need to blame your people that allowed the primary to be moved after being told if they conduct the primary early that it wouldn't count.

    April 4, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. Tx

    The unfortunate part of this whole Debacle is that the delegate will eventually be seated. Apparently it is worse to "disenfranchise voters" than it is to punish their elected officials. If you elect someone to speak for you ( i.e. vote ) then what they do should affect you as well.

    April 4, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. Merv

    I think it speaks volumes about MI that 40% of voters invested the time to vote "uncommitted." Clearly, Hillary's support isn't exactly thundering in that state. Maybe she's better off without a re-vote. And for anyone who suggests that Obama is culpable for the MI & FL debacles, you should reevaluate just how far your bias for Hillary has led you astray of reasonableness.

    April 4, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. BettiH, Indianapolis, IN.

    You all need to stop blaming Obama for this mess up. Nobody told MI or FL to move their dates up. If you want your vote counted then follow the example of the other 48 states that followed the rules. HRC didn't care a rats butt about MI or FL until she found her cocky over self confident butt loosing to the underdog.
    ...but knowing the Ol Clintons they'll find another way to break the rules or bend them a tad bit on her favor.

    Go Obama 2008

    April 4, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. Tempered

    Wow. This is seriously bad news for the cohesiveness of the Democratic Party. If I was Michigan voter, I would be livid.

    I agree with John (above) that the only fair way to handle this - and seat the delegates - is to split them 50/50. It cannot be fair to seat them as is, since only one of the candidates had their name on the ballot in the first place. And think about how many voters must have stayed home that day because they were told by everyone that their votes didn't count anyway?

    My sympathies to Michigan dems!

    April 4, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. Ernie

    All of this would have been avoided if FL & MI had simply played by the rules. But them & the arrogant Clintons felt this would all be over after Super Tuesday. Why have rules, if everybody is going to break them!!

    April 4, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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