December 1st, 2007
06:51 PM ET
13 years ago

Democrats vote to strip Michigan of its delegates

VIENNA, Virginia (CNN) – The Democratic National Committee voted Saturday to deny Michigan’s request to hold its primary on January 15, but party leaders vowed to move forward with the event even though its delegates won’t count in the presidential nominating contest.

“This is about principle,” Debbie Dingell, a Michigan DNC member, said in an interview after the vote. “It is the only way we are going to get there.

Earlier in the year, the DNC voted to strip Florida of its delegates for scheduling its primary on January 29. Both states violated DNC rules by holding contests before February 5.

The Michigan vote came right after the DNC allowed Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to reschedule their presidential nominating contests to earlier dates in January.

“As expected, the (DNC) Rules and Bylaws Committee took action to protect the intent of the calendar as adopted by the DNC over a year ago,” said DNC spokeswoman Karen Finney.

The Democratic presidential nominating calendar will kick off with the Iowa caucuses on January 3, followed by the New Hampshire primary on January 8, the Nevada caucuses January 19 and will close with the South Carolina primary on January 26.

On February 5, more than 20 states will hold presidential nominating contests on what is described as "Super Tuesday."

- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

Filed under: Democrats • Michigan • Race to '08
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. george,ca

    Florida and michigan are another Florida and Iowa this time around. Let's wait and see people how this one will play out!

    December 1, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. aaron Smithsburg, Maryland

    I agree with there decision. It sets a precedent for other states to follow. As I commented in an earlier ticker, when do we draw the line on these states moving up their primaries? These politicians will no sooner be in office, than assaulting the american airwaves and traveling state to state with their packs of expensive consultants and organizers with important campaign messages and begging for money to pay for their airtime and packs of expensive consultants and organizers for their next term. It's one big vicious circle. Wheres the beef? When will these talking heads have time to actually do their jobs, like reading important bills and legislature,(Like the Patriot Act or Osama bin Laden imminent threat to America ?) CAMPAIGN 2012 in summer 2008. YELLOW MEDIA BLITZKRIEG!

    December 1, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. E. C., Houston, Texas

    So Typical of the DNC...LOL! So Ridiculous! Keep focusing on things like this idiocy... and the GOP has a SURE FIRE WIN IN 2008!

    December 1, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. Daniel Bahls, Ann Arbor, MI

    This is very disappointing. I had been frustrated with the Republicans for willingly sacrificing civil liberties for even the shadow of a security concern. It looks like the democrats are willing to sacrifice the voting process of an entire state for an artificial calendar. It looks like I'll have to pick out a Republican to vote for now. Yuck.

    December 1, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. henry,boston,ma

    Florida and michigan are only two states out of 50 states, so do your math

    December 1, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. Rob

    Most of the leading Dems are off the ballot in the Michigan primary, having withdrawn their names from the election in support of the DNC's primary calandar. Of the front runners, only Clinton's name remains on the ballot – which makes the primary pretty much useless in determining the Democratic nominee anyway.

    December 1, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  7. phil margate florida

    seems only fair that if they dont count in the primaries they should repay the attitude in the general election .. michigan like florida should just vote for the independents or (shudder) republcan candidates i dont count to you now dont count on me later

    December 1, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. Lynne, Britton, MI

    Canada's starting to look better EVERY SINGLE day.

    December 1, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. Todd A., Mount Pleasant, MI

    Grand move, Democratic National Committee, for alienating voters from Michigan, a bastion of liberalism for several years. Do you want to lose again? You’re being overconfident; the neoconservative Bush administration has lied and cheated the American people, but their mistakes will not win you the next election. Erase your silly calendar and hear the voice of the people, an ideal you supposedly represent.

    Really though, why am I making a fuss? You’re just going to lie to the American people, ignore our health care issues, and neglect educational funding, no matter which party gets put in office. Cheers for debt, servility, and injustice for all!

    December 1, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. George,Ca

    Florida and michigan are another Florida and Iowa this time around. Let's wait and see people how this one will play out!

    I meant florida and Ohio during bush and gore/Kerry campaigns. Let's see!

    December 1, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Joe,Maywood,New jersey

    We are at the point in this country where we no longer have a fair electorial process. This will change, maybe not in my lifetime but this will change.

    December 1, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. Joe Mathews, Manchester, VT

    Typical Dingell and Michigan Democrats. Detroit's the crime capital of American and all they can do is "grandstand" a primary.

    Kudos to the DNC for trying to put a damper on this nonsense and that goes for Florida as well. The American voter is sick of this kind of childishness. It's a shame a great state has to have such lousy leadership.

    December 1, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. Michael Sheridan, Grand Rapids, MI

    The Dems in the Michigan legislature were warned that the DNC wouldn't allow a change in the date before they voted to hold the early primary. They have no one but themselves to blame for this.

    And since Hillary Clinton was the only "major" candidate who didn't have the integrity, to pull her name off the Michigan primary ballot when the DNC first warned that our delegates wouldn't be seated, the confirmation means that she won't get those delegates by default. As far as I'm concerned, as an Obama/Edwards supporter, the DNC's decision is great news.

    December 1, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. Daniel, NY

    Meanwhile, bad news is accumulating for Clinton as a new poll from New Hampshire (the second in two days) shows her slipping down to single-digits... for the first time since July.

    December 1, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. Sean, Scottville, MI

    It is sad that an entire party would throw out the rights of suffrage to an entire state, essentially limiting our part in the democratic process. Michigan is always a battleground state, and has gone democratic in the last several elections. I think it is fair to say that the chances of a a democrat in Michigan have been sharply minimized, and as such – the chances for any democratic candidate have been greatly reduced. This is truly outrageous, and an affront to the right of the people to vote and to our political process.

    December 1, 2007 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. JOHN JAX FL typical of the DEMS!! Make everyones vote count etc etc etc etc......Now they are suppressing delegates....nice job you hypocrites!!!

    December 1, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. Brian, Syracuse NY

    Who cares? The DNC pissed off Michigan voters, and Michigan and Florida are still gonna influence the process by giving tons of momentum to whomever wins.

    Go Michigan!

    December 1, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. Len, Fallbrook, CA


    Democracy in action!

    You vill all play by our rules and you vill all nominate Frau Clinton when we tell you to. Those that don't vill be dealt with later.

    You vill all sign up for Socialist health care ven ve tell you to.

    Any questions?

    December 1, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. Matthew Manley, Ann Arbor MI

    The DNC made the right decision here. If they decided to not punish Florida and Michigan for moving their primaries way up, it would have almost certainly caused a series of additional states to continue this. Neither Florida nor Michigan thought the DNC would be serious in its threats and now they face the consequences.

    The 2012 calendar will certainly be very different from the disaster that 2008's will be, but the New Hampshire primary would have been a month ago if all the other 48 states had their way to get the earliest votes.

    December 1, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Brett, Jenkintown, PA

    Way to go, Dems. You make me ashamed to be a registered Democrat. Am I retarded, or wasn't there a huge stink during both of the last two elections about, "Every vote counts?" So this time around, no Democratic vote in Florida or Michigan will count just because the DNC has a bug up their arse about having the nomination hinge on only a few small states. I can't remember the last time I actually had a choice of nominees to vote for here in Pennsylvania.

    Way to go DNC.

    December 1, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  21. Jim in Orlando, FL

    All this points to the flawed cronyism inherent in the primary process. While many would disagree with the idea of states forever leap-frogging forward so as to gain influence, both parties, and possibly eventually the courts or even a Constitutional amendment, needs to establish a system than provides more relevence to all states. Whether this is a rotating system, or some other mechanism, the current one has been long broken.

    December 1, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. Marty, Jacksonville, FL

    Look I know that on the surface, this doesn't seem fair, or even smart politically. Florida and Michigan, 2 electoral vote-rich states, both with far more diverse populations than Iowa and New Hampshire, are being unilaterally stripped of their votes by the DNC, while the RNC panders to their candidates (they talk the talk, but will probably do nothing when the convention comes around).
    But we have to look at this from a different standpoint. I am a critic of then entire primary process, mainly because it focuses too much emphasis on money and the candidate, and not enough about the policies. It is too image-based and not party-based.
    The candidate should represent the party, not the other way around. Part of the reason why our party structures are so weak in this country is because we have taken the power out of the political parties and given too much authority to the primary process. Maybe some people don't like the concept of party bosses in smoke-filled rooms making deals, but you have to understand that political parties play an important role in shaping coalitions and have the structure and experties to pass policies and shape debate. They can organize to get out the vote and moderate the various groups in their party to come to a common agenda. When elected officals are committed to their party platforms, there is a clear direction in what policies will be pursued, and clear accountablility to the voters when their policies produce both good and bad results.
    The primary process does not do this. Instead using the resources of the party to form a stable party base, it forces candidates to raise huge sums of money and make ad-hoc coalitions with differing interests groups with the sole goal of getting nominated, and ultimately elected. This also causes elected officials to pander to narrow interests groups and lobbyist and to vote not according to their "professed" party principles, but to the interest of these narrow groups. This is why you have Democrats voting like Republicans, and vice versa. This is why there is generally no party discipline.
    Excuse me for the poli-sci lecture, but I bring this up to make a point; the party leadership, regardless of its relative weakness in comparision to othter countries, must still impose some kind of order on a process that is corrupted from interest groups and money. This entire primary calender next year, in my view, is the most undemocratic I've ever seen. Think about this; by front loading the calender so much, It only allows candidates who can raise millions of dollars to compete. It has nothing to do with the message. This is why people like Kucinich, Paul, and Gravel have no chance to compete, regardless of the soundness of the message. It is also too focused on celebrity and not enough on policy. This is why people like Biden and Dodd, who arguably have the most experience and the best policies of any of the other candidates put together, can't get any traction, cuz their not as appealing or charasmatic or interesting as an Obama, Clinton, or Guiliani. Therefore, how can anyone honestly call this process democratic?
    I don't wanna sound like a broken record so I'll wrap this up. I am glad the DNC did what it did. This is not about seeing which state should play kingmaker; it's about making a system that is already broken at least somewhat better. I am a Floridian, but I'm glad the DNC stripped us of our delegates. It makes no sense to have some many states going at one time when this contest will be virtually over by the beginning of February. Think smart, people, this is not democratic.

    December 1, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. mark wilkes barre pa

    dems must not feel they need these states. o well,, ok with me

    December 1, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. Brett, Jenkintown, PA


    Step 1) Hold all primaries on the same day.
    Step 2) Make it a holiday, along with the national election, so no-one has any excuse for not being able to go vote.
    Step 3) There is no step 3. Every state then has equal influence.


    December 1, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  25. Chad, Wisco

    And everyone talks about how bad the Republicans are, the Dems just said FU to an entire state. Politics at its finest. Michigan should become a part of Canada, I'd consider a move to the UP if that happened.

    December 1, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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