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. William - Ca

    Hey Dean
    You and your stupid DNC have made the dems laughing stocks.

    December 1, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Do not worry Floridians and Michaginites (or Michiganeronians or Michiganers, whatever you are)

    At the convention, your delegates will find a seat. None of the presidential candidates will allow either of your critical states to be snubbed. If it were Alabama or Idaho – which are going to go Republican even if Michael Jackson is the Republican Presidential nominee and Osama bin Laden is the VP candidate – it might be a different story. No Democrat can win without Florida and Michigan. You will have plenty of clout and the convention will vote to seat your delegates.

    December 1, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. Dave, New York, NY

    what is wrong with these states like Michigan and Florida that they can't stick to the darn rules??!!

    The primary schedule was voted on fair and square by *all* states including Michigan over a year ago.

    If this was truly about principle as Michigan says – then they would stick to the rules! Instead they would rather shoot themselves in the foot – not because of "principle," but because of arrogance.

    December 1, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. MDR, Glenmont, Oh

    This whole process is moronic anyway. Too bad the average American is too dumb to realize that they can vote for anyone they want's called a write in vote. The hell with the democrats and the republicans....both of the parties are so crooked anyway....

    December 1, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. therealist

    Just sitting here watching the CNN/YouTube Republican debate rerun on CNN today. And you know what, it is quite different when you know the questioners are not what CNN is representing them to be..

    Great job CNN but unfortunate for you, Americans are now able to find out the real story fast enough to call your bias for what it is.. Repugnant political interference.

    December 1, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. kevin leiser Fertile Mn

    This is the party of every vote except when there mad at you. My 2 year old acts like that. I agree with the poster who said hold them all on the same day. And make the national election a holiday so no one has an excuse not to vote. The best thing to do would be to limit election season to 2 months before the election. Perhaps the people will not be so turned off by the process.

    December 1, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  7. Not Surprised, NY

    Hey Democrats,

    Have you heard the outcome of a 4 year poll by Gallop? Evidently, Republicans, by far, have better mental health than Democrats and Independents. You may want to switch your party affiliation.

    December 1, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. RightyTighty

    Nobody knows voter disenfranchisement like the DNC, their enlightened.. Or is this pay back for last terms election results?? One thing is for sure, this wouldn't happen to California or New York, you can bet your electorial votes on that..

    Ha Ha!!

    December 1, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. Bob, Cleveland OH

    The DNC trampling on states rights...why are people surprised by this? After all, the Democrat platform is based on Federal/national power over State/local/individual power.

    Kind of funny that one DNC segment is surprised by the national DNC's tyrannical actions. Sort of shines a light on the DNC's opinion of individual thought, doesn't it?

    December 1, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. Craven Moorehead, Hell, MI

    Michigan and Florida, 40+ electoral votes, Iowa, New Hampshire 20. Your call, Dumbocrats. Looks like I'm voting Independent.

    December 1, 2007 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. JLW, Norfolk, NE

    What happened to the Democrats insistance that EVERY vote be counted. Looks like they one want that when it is "convenient" to them

    December 1, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Dave Brown, Chesterfield, MO

    Can the Democrats win the White House without the support of Florida and Michigan. I think not. This should get very interesting. It is about time that someone besides Iowa and New Hampsire decided who "cannot" be president.

    December 1, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. Dan, TX

    Why didn't these states get this settled in 2005, or 2006. Why did they wait to the last minute to mess up their primaries. Seems like the democrat leaders in those states really were not thinking.

    December 1, 2007 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. Karen, Branson, MO

    What concerns me most is that another article about this states that at a later date the winner in Michigan and Florida would fight to get the delegates seated at the convention anyway. That most certainly would NOT be fair. And how come ole Hillary didn't take her name she could win and later get the delegates later???

    As far as I'm concerned, each state should be able to hold their primaries whenever they want to. Or have all states hold primaries on the same day just as presidential election is. How hard can this's not "rocket science" to figure it out. And all Americans have the right to have their votes count. But if the DNC ok's Michigan and Florida...Obama and Edwards MUST be put back on the ballots! If the winner in those states later get the delegates by whinning and crying about it, then there needs to be a re-vote with all candidates put back on

    December 1, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. Steven, Atlanta, GA

    I disagree with Brett and agree with Marty. You cannot hold all the primaries on one day because no one will actually get to know the candidates. It must be spread out over several months. Even Super Tuesday is harmful for America b/c it favors corporate, impersonal campaigning.

    What would be fair, however is to rotate every election the 4-5 states that come first. So if we have Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada this election, next election it could be Michigan, Florida, New Mexico and Alaska (or something like that). Keep rotating until everyone gets a chance to be first.

    Wouldn't this be possible? Any else see the logic or illogic in this argument?

    December 1, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. Dave, New York, NY

    Hey, Dan, TX (December 1, 2007 2:46 pm)

    FYI, to answer your question the DNC *did* take care of all this back in 2005/2006. All the states voted on a primary calendar, and every state had a chance to move their primary up.

    The state delegates voted on a primary schedule and now some states (MI & FL) are not honoring the outcome of that vote.

    *that* is why the state primaries will not count.

    December 1, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. Bob NY

    Tired of being unhappy dems? Switch parties....>

    "A roundup of Gallup health polls over the past four years finds that Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to report having excellent mental health.

    The survey found that 58 percent of Republicans polled reported having excellent mental health. Only 38 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of Independents reported the same."

    December 1, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. michelle atlanta, ga

    steven, i agree with you somewhat...we should definitely rotate states out every election. great idea.

    but i disagree that all primaries in one day would be a bad thing. with the campaiging starting roughly in 2006, what more do you need to know about the candidates? especially if you have primaries in the spring, that's plenty of time and plenty of time for the winners to prepare for november. plus i like the idea of making it a national holiday! 😉 hey, it could get more people to vote even.

    December 1, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    I think the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee, and Chairman Howard Dean should be replaced immediately.

    The Democratic Party has the chance in the next election of increasing majorities in both houses of Congress, and retaking the White House. To do that we need Michigan and Florida. And not just Democrats, Independents as well. What is this lunacy doing to help party building???

    I understand that each state chairman was given the chance to move their dates forward, and only Iowa, New Hampshire, etc. etc. etc. The fact remains that neither the DNC or RNC pays for the election; nor do they set state election schedules. That is the domain of the individual state legislatures and in some cases Secretaries of State. Until the DNC pays for the band, they cannot call the tune.

    Regardless, this is a case of pique by the DNC against the individual states; it is extremely childish and it could cost the Democrats the election.

    Fire Howard Dean and the Rule and Bylaws Committee NOW!

    December 1, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. Walt, Belton, TX

    I think it is wonderful! Won't be long and we can just do away with the primaries and just let the DNC appoint the candidate. Sure will save a lot of money and probably half of the voters won't even notice..........

    December 1, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  21. Mark, Dallas, TX

    It's a state issue and to disenfranchise a state is "undemocratic". If Michigan wants to do it, more power to them. I don't understand why they don't just pick a few dates and have a few states on each of those dates. If Iowa and New Hampshire feel they don't have any influence over the big states like NY or California...well, then move to NY or California.

    Democrats have a great opportunity this year. I'm afraid they may blow it like they did in 2004. Obama & Clinton attacking each other. Edwards saying some pretty nasty things. Then this...disenfranching people...if I were a resident of Michigan or Florida – I'd be pretty pissed off and may cause me to not vote at all...not what the party needs.


    December 1, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. Pierluigi Rotundo, Italy

    Hope these new developments can be really useful...

    Pierluigi Rotundo

    December 1, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. Steven, Atlanta, GA

    Michelle and others... what you loose out on in a one-day national primary is the personal contact with candidates. If you live in Iowa now, the odds are good that you can actually meet the candidates! (BTW, I think Iowans do a great job of learning about the candidates and they actually CAUCUS! That means they get together in meetings all over the state and debate the candidates. It's not just a blind vote, but an important social process. It's not something that Florida or Michigan are prepared to do.)

    If you spread the primary season out over 5 months (January – May) and had 10 states per month, more states would matter and the candidate would have more time to spend in your state. Again, I think this should rotate so that each state has a chance to be earlier in the election cycle.

    It would be detrimental to our country if the candidates only campaign through TV ads and stadium size speeches. They should have to work for it... go all over the country and meet people. It should be a process, not a one day event!

    December 1, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. Andrew, Haslett, MI

    This is why Carl Levin and his ilk should be voted out of office! Michigan voters get screwed because of a desire to have more influence, as if purposely pissing off the DNC was a good idea? And the DNC should be called the Disenfranchisement National Committee for screwing Michigan voters by not allowing the delegates to attend. The Republicans are not better, only allowing half the delegates to the convention but there's enough blame to go around. Apparently making news headlines is more important to Michigan's lawmakers than having a rightful say in the nominee. Way to go, Carl!

    I'll vote for the first time this primary and in the general election and I sure as hell will be voting for state's rights, freedom, and liberty, ergo RON PAUL.

    December 1, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. Jeff Flowers, Orange Park FL

    To those who blame the DNC for all of this, why aren't you equally angry with your state democrats for not following the rules in the first place? It seems to me that Florida and Michigan state representives are caring about something other than our vote.

    December 1, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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