(CNN) – Michigan’s House of Representatives approved legislation Thursday that sets the state’s presidential primary on January 15. The Michigan Senate approved similar legislation last week. Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The wide-open nature of the 2008 presidential race has set off a scramble between many states to exert influence early on the primary calendar and undermine the traditional role played by Iowa and New Hampshire.
Florida, a battleground state in recent presidential contests, has moved its primary up to January 29 in violation of Democratic National Committee rules that prohibit any states other than Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina from holding contests before February 5. The DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee recently decided to strip Florida Democrats of all of their delegates to the national convention unless they hold a caucus or party-run primary after February 5. Michigan Democrats may face a similar penalty from the DNC.
–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart