March 6th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
12 years ago

Blitzer: Florida and Michigan could yet be pivotal

Blitzer: Florida and Michigan should consider paying for new primary contests.

Blitzer: Florida and Michigan should consider paying for new primary contests.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Whatever it costs the taxpayers in Michigan and Florida to re-do their primaries – whether it’s $18 million or $25 million or even $30 million – would almost certainly be money well spent for their states. That’s because those states potentially stand to gain a lot more from having another round of what could be critical presidential primaries.

The Democratic Party stripped Florida and Michigan of their delegates because they moved up the date of their primaries in violation of party rules. If Michigan and Florida have primaries in June after the last scheduled Puerto Rico Democratic caucuses on June 7, and neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama yet has the needed number of convention delegates, those two states will become the center of the political universe.

Think about how many millions of dollars will be pumped into the Michigan and Florida economies. The two campaigns alone will spend millions in political advertising. Other outside political interest groups will pump in millions more in commercials. The hotels, restaurants and other related industries in the states will be in high demand.

Both of those states will also gain an enormous amount of publicity, not only in the United States but around the world. It would be a bonanza for their respective tourism industries. Just think about the coming economic gain for Pennsylvania which holds its primary on April 22. This is one of the best things to happen to that state in a long time.

Remember - those are key factors why both Iowa and New Hampshire are always so diligent in preventing other states from usurping their first-in-the-nation status for the presidential contests. People there make a lot of money from their caucuses and primary.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean says the national party can’t afford to foot the bill for another round of primaries, and that the states should pay for a re-do of the votes. (Normally, states pay for primaries; political parties pay for caucuses.) Politicians in Florida and Michigan say they don’t have the cash. That, however, may be a shortsighted stance.

One can make a very strong case that two more potentially-decisive primaries – with hundreds of delegates at stake - would not only determine the Democratic presidential nominee, but would in effect become a significant economic stimulus package for both of those states. It would be an amazing cap to an already amazing political season.

- CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (247 Responses)
  1. Ted in Pittsburgh

    I sympathize with the voters of Florida and Michigan, but unfortunately, both states chose to ignore and break the rules which every state and candidate agreed to. The persons responsible for ignoring the DNC's rules in both states should be fired and/or recalled, whichever is more applicable. The fairest solution to the 50 states and the hundreds of millions of US voters is to stick to the rules that were agreed upon by all. Again, I feel for the voters of FL and MI, but any attempt to break the agreement will upset many more states and many more voters.

    March 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Philip, Elkhart IN

    Wayne, Greenville TX:

    "March 6th, 2008 3:55 pm ET

    I think they should have caususes in both states – with the cost paid by a three-way split between the DNC and teh Clinton and Obama campaigns. In that way, the cost would be borne by Democrats, and the Republicans can't complain about the use of tax dollars for a partisan purpose."

    I think that's a great idea. I still think it rewards MI and FL for breaking the rules, but at least it's not at the expense of the taxpayers.

    March 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Gary in CT

    Gee Wolf, come next election, how many states do you think will be smart enough to follow Florida and Michigans lead to get a financial windfall from not playing by the rules to begin with. Senator Obama played by the rules, he outcampaigned Senator Clinton, and has put himself in an unbeatable position. If the Clintons steal his nomination, we might as well all move to Russia where the election prossess costs us less but has the same results.

    March 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. Jessica, MI

    Our dear MI Governor Granholm, guaranteed a spot in a Hillary presidential administration, trying to argue that Hillary's delegates from a sham primary should be seated as not to silence "the voice of the people". Barf.

    1) Hillary pulled the sneakiest move ever in leaving her name on the ballot. There was a clear understanding between the candidates that they'd all be pulling them off. Granholm probably told her to do it. It was a slimy, disingenuous surprise. And now, unbelievably, there's a feeling among some people in MI that "at least Hillary cared about us"...what a joke.
    2) The 11th hour primary shift by the MI legislature was extremely suspect. Though our reasons for wanting an early primary are legit, the means utilized were dead wrong. This is something that should be lobbied for and argued years in advance, not snuck in at the last minute in a "dare you to remove our delegates" ploy.

    Hillary can't mathematically win this election, so she's trying to steal it. The informed people of this state and country cannot let this happen!

    March 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. chris


    Why do we need to seat FL and Mich at the DNC? Isn't a year of campaigning and raising millions of dollars long enough to pick a candidate? All the pundits / media think it's great to have the primary process go on and that it's such a strong democratic process…but is it democratic for these 2 candidates to raised 85mil in Feb alone, which will be spent on negative TV ads and could be given to the healthcare crisis, helping individual families facing foreclosure, etc.? I'm not trying to sound altruistic, but I have a lot more reason to donate money to causes like these, than to those two fat cats.

    March 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Alecki

    Florida is NY and NJ in the south.
    Guess who is going to win?

    You Go Girl!!!

    March 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. ClintonStrong




    YES WE CAN!!

    HILLARY 08!!

    March 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. Sharon

    Wayne in Greenville: Let me guess . . you're an Obama supporter.

    March 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. Stavy

    HRC's 35 years of experience:

    1. Worked for a corporate law firm.
    2. Served on WalMart board and had no issues with the labor policies there.
    3. Formulated a disastrous health care plan that postponed universal coverage for years.
    4. Had tea with foreign leaders.
    5. Voted for the war
    6. Scandal after scandal. Why oh why?
    7. Within a couple of years managed to lose both the house and the senate due to vindictive and divisive politics

    Experience we can count on?

    March 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. LP

    Why should the rules that were agree upon be change in the twenty forth hour? Both State Oficals knew thier delegates would be strip if they moved ther primarys dates and choose to do so anyway. Hillary and Obama's campaigns agree to those unseating of those delegates. So now that we have such a close race, which know one espected they want to change the rules! This a joke!

    March 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Melissa Atlanta, GA

    We are in America – right? So, the votes must count. The DNC's rules must give way here. The only fair thing to do is re-do both the FL and MI primaries. Yes, it will cost money, but tell Howard Dean to get over it. Both Hillary and Obama are getting plenty of donations to help pay for it.

    March 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |




    March 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Nathan

    Florida delegates should be seated because it was GOP mischief that forced their hand. There should be a do over in Michigan. By my calculations that means the nominee must then garner over 2,200 delegates. Funny how when its democracy via a vote Clinton wins, but when it's the undemocratic swill of caucuses Obama wins. Can't wait to watch Obama join Gore and Kerry as loser's.

    March 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Alecki

    Can anyone give me a reason that we don't need experience in the White House? Does anyone in this group NOT want healthcare.
    This is not American Idol.

    Wake up American!

    March 6, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Reggie

    Both states should be in play....Both Hillary and Obama are secular progressives. little regard for our sovrenty, welcome to socialism.

    March 6, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Sharon

    Obama may wind up having only a few more delegates that Clinton. Therefore, HIllary will be the nominee. Obama has not won 1 big state. In a general election, he would lose by a landslide and this is a factor. No one can win the presidency without winning some of the big states. Again, Obama has not won 1.

    Hillary in 2008. All bets accepted.

    March 6, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. June

    We need to count those delegates or find an alternative that would be fair for everyone.

    March 6, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. Darth Vadik, CA

    Look let's be serious for a second,

    Obama has the nomination, he does, mathematicaly speaking he does, sorry Hillary people but those are the facts.

    However it is up to him whether this will go up to the convention.

    If he teams up with Hillary, this will end tomorrow, and we begin the national campaign.

    If he doesn't want her as VP she will fight him to the end but lose anyway.

    The ball is in Obamas court now.

    March 6, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. Robert Zuckschwerdt

    Hillary deserves those delegates! the people went to the polls and voted! Obama could have had his name on Michigan ballot, he should quit whining.

    March 6, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. Chuck

    Wolf – Yes,the two neglected states would benefit from the money influx, The Issue shouldn't be about the money but abiding by the DNC rules not if and or but, period. Changing horses in mid stream could fracture the entire democratic party for many years. Those democrats current in office today haven't got their act together since they won the elections in 2006.

    March 6, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. Hillary Supporter

    Whether or not the party decides to count these two states, Hillary already won them!

    March 6, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. HD

    No Do-Over! No delegates.

    Florida and Michigan broke the rules! The Clintons agreed to the plan when they thought they would win without MI and FL. The republican governor of Florida is wanting this to be a major issue because he wants to rip the party further apart. Also, the Republican Florida Governor would prefer to face the Clintons given the latest poll showing Obama beating McCain by 12%!

    March 6, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. TexDem

    Maybe someone can actually celebrate a "victory" for winning Florida with the popular vote instead of winning by default.

    Barack '08ama!

    March 6, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. Whats Next

    Would both these states really blow 25 million again? Why not spend it on schools, social programs anything that would help the state or the people for that matter!

    Whats wrong with you people? You had your chance and you blew it! Why punish your state by spending more? How wonder this country is going to SH%$

    March 6, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. rhino

    I agree with Wayne – they can do whatever they like so long as the taxpayers aren't the ones footing the bill.
    It all really reflects poorly on the DNC, regardless what the outcome.
    I mean, if they can't organize an election process that makes sense – how are Americans supposed to trust them with our country?

    March 6, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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