December 1st, 2007
06:51 PM ET
14 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. cauly - westchester cty ny

    Dingell says "this is all about principal" but nothing in politics is about principal (least of all in the Democratic party), so it's got to be about political edge. Let's call a spade a spade.

    December 1, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Mike Omaha,NE

    People on this board are making no sense. Michigan and Florida KNEW that they would have their delegates stripped if they move up their primaries, but they did it anyway! Your anger should not be with the DNC, but with the sad leadership of these states. Imagine if your boss told you to do something, and you did something completely opposite, you would have to deal with the consequences. Also, this isnt just a democrat problem, republicans are doing the same thing and also being punished for moving up their primaries. Please do research before you post ignorant comments people.

    December 1, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. Bill Woessner, Fairfax, VA

    Michelle and others… what you loose out on in a one-day national primary is the personal contact with candidates.

    So you're effectively saying that, not only is it OK to disenfranchise the vast majority of the country, but it's actually a good idea. Instead of allowing voters across the country to have a say in the primary process, just hand the reins over to voters in a few states. Surely they'll have everyone's best interests at heart.

    It reminds me a lot of Animal Farm: All voters are created equal, but some are more equal than others. Really what we're talking about here is discrimination. Let's give one group of voters more power than another. When will we wake up and realize that the government-sponsored discrimination is a really bad idea.

    December 1, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Laura Kuffrey Tignall Georgia

    I live in Georgia but I am affected by these immature people. This is not 2nd grade playground. Both sides need seriously TALK to each other & work it out. There are how many millions of people in the world today who have never seen an election booth & these relatively few people are quibbling over a date on a calender!?!

    December 1, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  5. Lynn, Ocala, FL

    Is there a misunderstanding here between the delegates from a state not counting in the primary election for a specific party, as opposed to the final presidential election in November? It seems like some people think that the electoral college that follows the November election will be impacted by all this, but it is referring to the selection of which candidate among the Democrats will be selected to be on that ballot in November. After the primaries, delegates from the states go to the National Convention for their party, this is where they are saying that FL and MI delegates won't count, for violating the primary schedule. Since most major candidates besides Clinton took their names off the ballot in MI anyway, it really doesn't impact much. It won't impact the November election between the parties at all. It is kind of ironic that in general the Democrats are disregarding the votes after fussing over every vote counting in the past. But then that doesn't surprise me, because it is politics and on both sides of the aisle, many say what suites them in the moment and change their tune according to the audience or situation. Power corrupts. All that said, we still have the best form of government worldwide even though it isn't perfect.

    December 1, 2007 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  6. David B., Petersburg, VA

    What does Naomi Wolfe have to say now that it is Democrats that aren't letting Democrat votes count?

    December 1, 2007 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  7. David, Encinitas, CA

    This in-party bickering is certainly alienating this (mostly liberal) voter. If the democrats can't even agree on a primary schedule, how can we expect them to actually accomplish anything once elected?

    December 1, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  8. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Screw Dr. Dean and the party fascistas. The convention will be an after-the-fact party celebrating either the death wish of nominating an unelectable Hillary or Obama, or else the wise decision of Democratic voters not to lose the White House.

    December 1, 2007 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  9. amy miami florida

    It is time to take America Back from these greedy aristocrats. America was founded as a REPUBLIC ! Yet here we are lining up to bring DEMOCRACY to the world, (aka MOB RULE) seriously do you care what 51% of americans beleive if it is not what you beleive? how is that fair?
    We were meant to be FREE FROM TYRANNY! ...but here we are knee deep in phoney elections, and laws that offer CITIZENS zero protection from the tyrants! Do yourself a favor google sr 1959 or hr 1955, and think about the situation at clintons headquarters. They are trying to SCARE us out of the US Constitution.

    There is only one candidate who will restore the law of the land and lower the guns aimed at the people (like BLACKWATERS guns that are on hand to keep AMERICANS in line if need be, google blackwater hurricane katrina)

    when you give up your liberty for safety YOU WILL GET NEITHER! (and the as the saying goes, you deserve neither)

    Look at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Dick Cheney as well as Michelle Obama are members, Condi, Kissinger, Clinton, Edwards, Biden, Guiliani, Richardson,

    Look at their agenda, who began it, why it remains so hush hush? Cheney even mentioned that he went out of his way to hide the fact that he was a member while campaigning.

    We have been told that people hate us for our freedoms, yet we have allowed this government (congress especially, they have laid down to bushco) to strip us of them.
    It makes no sense and yet perfect sense at the same time.


    VOTE 4 RON PAUL!!!!!

    December 1, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  10. Naomi, Ann Arbor, MI

    As a die-hard Michigan Dem, I am furious at both sides. Yes, the calendar makes no sense and needs to change. So Michigan Dems played a game of chicken with the DNC and, despite the fact that it's been obvious for a long time they were going to lose, drove right off the cliff anyway. As a matter of "principle," Debbie Dingell sacrificed my right to vote.

    An even less reported fact is that, in Michigan, write-in votes don't count if the candidate has not officially registered a write-in campaign, meaning that I can't go vote for Obama even as a symbolic gesture - no one will count my vote.

    Again, I agree that the calendar needs to change. NH and IA have been incredibly pigheaded about this, as has the DNC. But please, why did my vote have to be a casualty in this pissing match?

    December 1, 2007 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  11. Kelliann

    Sue the freaking DNC for disenfranchising voters, the creeps. How dare they? The Democrats *deserve* to lose the election if they do stupid antics like this. This should go right to the Supreme Court.

    December 1, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  12. ss,chicago,Illinois

    There is a simple solution. Let states hold off the results of primaries until all states have voted.

    December 1, 2007 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  13. Duncan, Elgin, IL

    Primaries do not take into account the political stance of a large portion of the public. Only the entitled few are allowed to vote in them, and through them their special interests are achieved. The sad thing is that these primary results will influence who becomes president more than the general election itself. Why should the date matter. Primaries must have an unseen impact that the average voter does not understand, and certain individuals would like to keep it that way for their own gains.

    December 1, 2007 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  14. Bruce, Des Moines, IA

    What I find interesting is people critcizing the DNC. Doesn't this article quote a Michigan official as saying its for the "prinple"? Not to mention, they were warned ahead of time that they shouldn't do this. Why get into ego matches? What is really odd is their "principle": the almighty dollar. They claim that it really is about trying to make a better nationally, i.e. why should Iowa, a predominately white state, have such an impact, etc. I didn't realize that Michigan had more of an Asian, Hispanic or Bosnian population than all states and were ethnically the most diverse in the country. As a far north state that thrives on the auto industry, how would it answer that it gives proper representation to tobacco and cotton farming states or the oil states, or even the proper representation for Silicon Valley? The real reason, however, is that Michigan wants the money and publicity that comes with the early status.. just a few small time politicians trying to claim national status. Ultimately, some schedule does need to be set, or all 50 states could someday be doing their primaries and caucuses the day after election day for the previous election. Where does it end? Should New York be allowed to go before Michigan- afterall they are quite diverse and arguably more worthy given its financial status. What about California, the most populous state? The idiocy could continue forever, so what is that principle again Michigan? Oh yeah, money and fame. I forgot, how patriotic!

    December 1, 2007 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  15. Nicholas, Dafter (Upper Peninsula), MI

    It's disgusting to see the Democratic Party playing divisive politics amongst it's own party line. They couldn't pull off a unified front in '04 and they seem to be tripping on their own shoelaces in '08. Maybe it's time for the third party to be taken seriously.

    December 1, 2007 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  16. Frank Lornitzo

    It appears the "Blue dogs" want to get the old caucus system back. That is to say, in both the state organizations and
    the DNC. By the way, some states still use the caucus: their primaries are merely "advisory".

    What is there about wanting to be "first"? The most important is that people get a chance to meet the candidates and not by "long distance"

    Later states might have advantage in that the issues are more crystallized,
    the candidacies are more developed.

    Best advice: Invest in the confetti companies. That is as much sense it all makes.

    December 1, 2007 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  17. Michael Sheridan, Grand Rapids, MI

    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."
    Posted By Bob NY : December 1, 2007 3:35 pm

    I highlighted the key words in your post: Republicans self-diagnose themselves as having better mental health. It would be interesting to see if statistics from actual health care professionals reflected that same trend – though I doubt many doctors bother to ask the political affiliations of their patients, so there probably isn't much data to work with.

    I looked up the Gallup data, and if you lump together those who report their mental health as excellent OR good, 93% of Republicans view their health positively, while 83% of independents and 84% of Democrats do so. This is a much less significant difference, especially when you take into consideration the margins for error in polling.

    My personal opinion is that Democrats and independents had a lot of reason over the last few years to feel frustrated and depressed, watching the GOP drive the country over a cliff. This would certainly account for some of the results. And, of course, the people still clinging to their GOP party identification aren't likely to be up for much self-analysis or introspection – otherwise they'd constantly be running into the cognitive dissonance of being associated with a party of fiscally reckless war-mongering radicals.

    It would be interesting if Gallup could go back to their data from the 1990s, and see how the GOP identifiers reported their mental health during the Clinton administration. I remember the GOP faithful of those years as being driven completely insane by Bubba, accepting every rumor and innuendo about him as the gospel truth, regardless of any lack of proof. If Gallup found the GOP self-reporting of their mental health in the 1990s as significantly positive, we'd know that their current analysis probably isn't worth any additional comment.

    December 2, 2007 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  18. Dave, New York, NY

    People are getting all agitated at the DNC, but do people realize the DNC is a ntaional political party. The state delegates belong to that party, and the State legislature should have nothing to say over the matter!

    Out national political parties need to be independent of state governments. Howard Dean is the best thing to happen to Democrats in a long time.

    December 2, 2007 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  19. Daniel, NY

    In other early state news, McCain got a major endorsement today from a conservative influential New Hampshire newspaper, while Clinton trails Obama in yet another Iowa poll.

    December 2, 2007 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  20. Jaik , chicago, IL

    This is about the Democrats not wanting to actually win the election. Just like Gore giving up when he won, or kerry allowing cheating and the same trickery in Florida again. They don't want to be held responsible, they want to moan from the sidelines.

    December 2, 2007 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  21. Terry, El Paso, TX

    "This is about the Democrats not wanting to actually win the election. Just like Gore giving up when he won, or kerry allowing cheating and the same trickery in Florida again. They don't want to be held responsible, they want to moan from the sidelines." – Jaik , chicago, IL

    Jaik, perhaps you remember that the Florida vote was being recounted by the Florida Supreme Court when the five Conservative Republicans on the Federal Supreme Court ordered that the counting of votes be stopped. As for Kerry in 2004, he lost Florida by 381,000 votes. He lost the general election by over 3 million votes. The professional politicians in the Democratic party are just as hungry for victory, power, status, and fame as are the Republicans. Your comment has absolutely no basis in reality, so I assume it was meant as sardonic or sarcastic.

    December 2, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  22. Christine

    A totally outrageous usurpation of the democratic process - essentially telling the people in Michigan and Florda that their vote doesn't count. Isn't this the kind of election-rigging behavior the Dems have accused the Republicans of? More and more, I grow disgusted with the Democratic party.

    December 2, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  23. Jose Card

    In my opinion, we should limit the lead time for our presidential campaign to one year at most. With short memory span, most people won't remember what happened three months ago, never mind 2 or 3 years ahead.

    These senator and governor candidates are not doing their jobs in their full capacity during this long campaign period. It is a disservice to the voters they represent.

    December 2, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  24. dmw, roeland park, ks

    The DNC should be ashamed of themselves. This is a Democracy afterall. And to say that two states are invisible in the Democratic process because they wanted to move their primaries up is a sad day for the DNC. I am so glad I switched to being an Independent.

    Iowa and New Hampshire being the first two states every four years is silly. These two states do not respresent the makeup of America. I do not understand why the primary calendar can not be changed to allow more states to have a say in the early process. But, it will be over by February 5, so Iowa and New Hamphire will not be able to hog the spotlight for too long.

    December 3, 2007 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  25. JC, Topeka, Kansas

    Let's see, John Dean provided that he could be the front runner and blow an election through stupid antics. Here we go again, this time the DNC, beginning to think it is George W Bush pissing off two states its candiates will need in the general election if they are determined to win the Presidency.

    I am sorry I thought the elections were held by state governments not the RNC or the DNC.

    Keep it up and welcome in the GOP for another 4 years.

    December 3, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
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