February 19th, 2008
03:21 PM ET
15 years ago

Blitzer: Some superdelegates may be shut out

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/19/iowacaucusnight2008.jpg caption="Florida and Michigan’s superdelegates have been penalized, too."] (CNN) - The superdelegates going to the Democratic convention in Denver at the end of the summer include all the elected Democratic governors, senators, and representatives. Right? Wrong.

Michigan’s Democratic governor, Jennifer Granholm, is not a superdelegate. Neither are Sen. Carl Levin or congressmen John Conyers and John Dingell. The same is the case for Florida’s Democratic senator, Bill Nelson. He won’t be a superdelegate. Neither will representatives Robert Wexler or Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

That’s because Michigan and Florida moved up their primaries into January, before the February 5 Super Tuesday schedule. That broke party rules, and as a result, the Democratic Party stripped them of their pledged and unpledged delegates. The superdelegates are unpledged - meaning they can support any candidate they want.

Thus, the 795 superdelegates at the Democratic convention do not include the 28 who would have come from Michigan and the 22 who would have come from Florida. That could change only if party leaders reconsider their decision.

There is talk of organizing caucuses in both states if the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama remains deadlocked going into May and June. Organizing full-scale primaries is much more difficult and much more expensive. Hillary Clinton hasn’t done well in caucuses so far.

At the same time, however, she and her supporters believe they can still win those big states. They did “win” the most votes during the January primaries even though none of the candidates could campaign there and Obama’s name wasn’t even on the ballot in Michigan.

I suspect we will see caucuses in Michigan and Florida if this race remains unresolved. That is possible. The Democratic Party big shots would prefer that to a brokered convention on the floor in Denver.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: superdelegates • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. Californian

    The whims of a few people decide that entire states are not to be counted. Just goes to show how broken the electoral process is in America. Only the anointed elite of the Democratic and Republican parties ever stand a chance at getting elected. It's not the people, but the establishment that picks our leaders. Voting is simply a placatory motion that we all go through.

    February 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. Barack Oprah

    I bilieve before some superdelegates shut out, Michelle Obama will be shout out. Or at least shut up.

    February 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. edward anorld

    well wolf for your information PRESIDENT BUSH IS IN GHANA NOW

    February 19, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Carla

    I think it is important for the states of Michigan and Florida to be counted but I do believe it needs to be done fairly. The issue many people have brought up is the disenfranchised voters in those states. I agree we don't want that but without redoing the primary or caucus the voters that did not go to the polls because they knew their vote would not count would also be disenfranchised which is just as wrong. Since the states new the consequences of their actions before the primaries they need to make it right with their citizens by redoing the vote.

    February 19, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. Chris Druschel

    Hey Wolf I'm A 23 Year Old That Is A Hard Working "Green Collar" Living In Orlando, FL Amongst Conservative Republicans of the south, liberals from the university of florida, and democrats of the city. It is quite the diverse area. From my talks with many people, OBAMA is on the rise here, i believe you will see OBAMA win florida very handly When it comes down to the finale. His current momentum is not stoppable even with a loss or two in the next few primaries

    February 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. john Grocut

    Change the rules! Next time winner-take-all. Caucuses are a joke and should be replaced with real elections. McCain is in the driver's seat now.

    February 19, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. Neal

    In 2000, the democrats were saying that it's the people's choice that should matter; and not the electoral votes. Al Gore got more votes than Bush; but Bush won due to the electoral vote majority.

    If democrats elect Hillary in the convention, against the people's choice of Obama (if Obama has more pledged delegates than Hillary), then aren't they going against what they said in 2000?

    I think one of them should simply give up. Because, they are both going to be negative - into texas and ohio. The more time it takes for these two to fight it out, the less time they will have to launch a strong campaign against the republicans.

    Also, the campaign is becoming more childish. When you have serious issues, people talk about stealing sentences for one's speech from someone else. If you want to talk about moral issues, I think Clinton's are the last one to do that. Her husband did something inappropriate when he was in office. Where is the morality there? Is this the kind of family you want for a president?

    I think the democrats should get their act together; and make sure they take the whitehouse in 2008.

    February 19, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. Gillis

    I think the superdelegates should just stay out of it and let the people decide by a simple majority. We claim to be the greatest democracy on earth. There is nothing democratic about superdelegates. It looks like France before the French revolution. Democrats just need to revolt and kick their super butts. They maybe called super but thay are'nt that tough. They claim to know who's best for us.

    February 19, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. NW Independent

    I don't know how the Dems. are going to resolve this if the nomination fight goes all the way into summer. If they seat the Fl/MI delagates it's going to upset one group of supporters no matter if they take the current vote or if they have a caucus. The only way that both parties agree to seating those delegates is if they have a full blown re-primary and that isn't going to happen because of money and politics within those states.

    Bottom line, the Dems. have found a way to fracture the party and loose in November.

    February 19, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  10. Chuck in Oregon

    Thank you Wolf. I agree 100%. However Hillary needs to be a little less confident. Obama has proved already that he can cut deeply into her following. That is why she would prefer the award with out the so called re-do. However she agreed to the way it is now, and she needs to accept the out come no matter what or where it falls. Same applies to Obama. One thing for sure, is I will not vote for Hillary, and if she does will, the republicans will get my vote.

    February 19, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. maynard

    mich. and fla superdelegates should be shut out. these two states broke the rules and hillary clinton backed the vote to not count the delegates,,,,,now that she is down hillary now wants to overturn the rule and have the delegates counted..... this is the evil coniving hillary that wants to be president....... dont count those delegates...

    February 19, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. arica

    I cant believe that FL and MI might actually be counted. If thats the case then why were there rules in the first place? I guess it just depends on who's winning at the time as to whether or not these states will be considered "disenfranchised"

    February 19, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. Mr. B.

    I believe that the only fare way to resolve this issue, ( and I stress fare for all ) Is to hold another election in Florida & Michigan.

    They should be the last states to vote for the primary in June, 2008

    It has been reported that a "primary" would be to expensive, and a "caucus" could be achievable.

    The states should bare the cost, so let them decide what format they choose.

    It's plain and simple, so I'm sure no one will understand the logic !

    February 19, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. Doc Jerome

    I say again, . . . the Democrats never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

    February 19, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. Ted

    Hopefully, the battle will be decided by May. If it isn't, then I fear the worst for the Democratic party. There are now two ways the Democrats can squander the presidential election:

    1) Allow the Super Delegates to overturn the pledged delegates, and hence allow overturning the will of the people

    2) Allow delegates from Michigan and Florida to cast votes. The rules of the Democratic Convention were crystal clear and agreed upon by all parties. Reneging on this agreement would destroy the credibility of the Democratic party.

    February 19, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. MediaBias

    If Mich and Fla dare to do a re vote of convenience (convenient for Obama that is), you will here a national outrage against the Dem party and the media like you've never seen. there are a large number of Dems or liberals out there who will vote against Obama if this nomination is handed to him, as the media has tried to do since the first state held it's caucuses.

    We will not vote for Obama no matter how much you and the media try to shove him down our throats.

    February 19, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. D.J.

    has anyone noticed that in florida the leadership and the legislature are republican! they are the ones that put the state in front of their normal time to vote. the every day regular citizens who voted in the primary had nothing to do with changing the date before super tuesday. how can they be disenfranchised again? if their votes won't count then once again the republicans will have helped pick the next president! can you check into this wolf? please....by the way mr obama did have tv adds in florida. so many people online on that night asked how that could be if there was to be no campaigning period.

    February 19, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  18. June (California Voter)

    That would be a good idea if Michigan and Florida woud have a caucus there and let Obama and Hillary campaign there in April maybe before Pennsylvania and see what happens so everyone will be happy. Hopefully the DNC is learning their lesson.

    February 19, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. Gillis

    Another thing is that if Mitchigan and Florida gets a redo (Caucus or Primary). Obama will win both. Many in CA are already regrating their early votes for Hillary.

    February 19, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. Robert Reed

    Food for thought:
    What would the DNC's take be, if all democrats in Florida & Michigan decided not to vote in the general election. After all, if their voice is not going to be heard in the primaries, why bother with the general?

    February 19, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. Nicole

    I am not sure why it is a point of discussion. They made the rules, everyone agreed to them, including Mrs. Clinton. To change the rules now, only to benefit Clinton would do a great disservice to the Party.

    February 19, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. Debbie

    Can it be clarified about who chose to move the dates for the Michigan and Florida primaries? I was under the impression that it wasn't the people in those states that decided but specific people in the Democratic party. They keep talking about the people trying to cheat but in my opinion it is the other way around; certain people made the decision to go early and everyone who wanted to vote in the Democratic primary is being punished. Because all delegates weren't on the ballot in Michigan I can understand not including those results but all delegates were on the ballot in Florida.

    February 19, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. Joe Malave

    Wolf Please get the facts straight. Democrats in Florida did not change the rules on the primary date. The completely Republican controlled legislature changed the primary date in Florida!!!!!!

    February 19, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. Braineel

    Caucuses in these states are the only fair way to seat these delegates.

    If they get pushed in any other way many will be livid.

    February 19, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. Lori

    I don't get where Clinton gets off saying she won in FL & MI and now wants those states to count. Especially in MI where Obama's name wasn't even on the ballot! If MI & FL can organize caucuses so their states have a say in the election, that seems fair to me. However, if Obama keeps up the momentum throughout Texas, Ohio & PA, I think Clinton should bow out gracefully.

    February 19, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8