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. Shwaydude

    Michigan and Florida should be the last states to vote only if either candidate did not reach the 2024 del count. The democrats better do something for future elections also so this won't happen again and that Texas thing won't happen again.

    Hillary and Obama need to stop fighting as enemys and start competeing as allies to let the better man (or woman) win honorablely. They get so caught up in the nomination that they forgot about McCain. McCain was not like much to start with but with everyday the democrats fight he (McCain) looks like a better candidate.

    Both are good candidates, but they both are showing to be bad leaders. I still vote for them though just because McCain is too Geroge Bushy.

    March 6, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. SPJ, Ann Arbor, MI

    I'm tired of folks referring to a revote as a "change in the rules." The DNC has consistently said that they will accept a plan that selects Michigan and Florida delegates on February 5 or thereafter. FL and MI submitted plans that were earlier, and they were rejected. A revote would be bringing MI and FL in line with the rules, not changing them.

    In MI, we did not have the chance to vote for any major candidate except Hillary. She broke the rules by staying on the ballot! Many folks, like me, voted "uncommitted," but many more just didn't vote. There is no way that should count.

    It's time for a do-over! I want to see the whole state of Michigan blanketed in the Michigan Do Over buttons and t-shirts you can get on Cafepress. We need to rise up and reclaim our right to vote!

    March 6, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. Sandra D

    Wolf, I always enjoyed hearing your analysis on these issues until you became pro-hillary and now I find you very partial. It is so obvious you are rooting for her; it might be helpful to the whole nation if people like you that command our respect would be more neutral. Otherwise why are you focusing attention on issues that benefit her campaign like the Florida / Michigan revote?. Those States agreed to loss all their delegates last year, why are you aiding the Clinton campaign to change the rules of the game during the play?.

    March 6, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. AMB

    The two states knew the rules set forth, they decided to move ahead anyway. Break the rules, pay the price...Those two states could have been pivotal had they waited their turn...A revote could be a costly mess. Follow the rules next time!

    March 6, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  5. Michelle

    If Florida and Michigan get do overs then why not all the people who voted for Edwards or anyone else who was running ?

    Oh Crist is on TV .now playing poltical games lol. HE is the ONE who forced the elections to be when they were. He wants the DNC to pay 25 million for Florida to do it over, but HE will oversee it . LOL This is too much !!!!!! Be still my heart.

    LOL .. this is political gamesmenship at it's FINEST !!!!!!!!!!!! LOL Honestly .. like he CARES!!! He wants Hillary to win so McCain can beat her. Heck he might be McCains running mate !!!

    March 6, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. GDK


    And they say that Obama is the media's darling...

    You just wrote the more pro-Clinton-spined-article I've ever seen...

    March 6, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  7. Dani

    Hey Wolf: Did you not watch the news this morning? Democratic Chairman Dean said absolutely not! The Democratic Party was trying to achieve balance around the country for the states holding their primaries and everyone knew what the rules were. Florida and Michigan's state legislators violated those rules. As one reader yesterday put it, it would terribly unfair to all the candidates who have since dropped out of the race. Who knows if John Edwards could have won and this would have resulted in a winning streak for him.

    Dean also made it clear that it would be the superdelegates would be more than likely making that decision should it come to that.

    March 6, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  8. Karen G.

    The voters in the Democratic Primary voted knowing their delegates were not going to be seated. Hard to claim 'disinfranchised' now.

    However, if they have a 'do over', what will happen to the people who swapped their political affiliation in order to cast a vote that would count?

    March 6, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. Rick

    Democrat party should pay for do over, not the taxpayers.

    March 6, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. JR

    How many would be in favor of just spliting the Florida and Michigan delegates in half and give half to each candidate.

    March 6, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. Dani

    One last thing. This issue is moot so please people, calm down. Furthermore if it came to the table, primaries are much better, people go in, cast their vote, their choice – 5-10 minutes and they are out of there. Very private decision. This caucus business should be banned. It's sounds almost like a bunch of people arm twisting others into joining their side. As the saying goes: Keep It Simple Stupid.

    March 6, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. sairefgm

    I find it so sickening that this sheman (Hillary) has acted like a dog before the world and now the beast has the audcity to tell obama not to fight back. Gergen oh it will go against his policy. Just stand there Obama and let this thing disrespect you before the world.

    I am not going to say I told you so when obama told you fools that Bush-Cain has made the country unsafe. Look at the bombing today. This is sickening.

    We are at a point now we dont care who wins as long as it is not the democratic party. The entire scope of people are abominable. Let that nasty woman act like that with another member of the same party. oh hell no. The DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS A JOKE AND THEY WILL NEVER GET THE WHITEHOUSE.

    The DNC lack courage, honesty, integrity, dignity, and self respect.

    March 6, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  13. Seat the Delegates!

    The delegates should be seated! Obama was on one of the ballets and hillary STILL WON! SEAT THE DELEGATES! People spoke and want hillary! Obama supporters dont want the seats filled because he would lose like he should!

    March 6, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. B, Texas

    There should be do-overs and the states should fund them since they're the ones that agreed to the rules then broke them. They were aware of the consequences of moving their primaries yet did it anyway, and now they're crying about having their votes count?? How is this the DNC's fault? Shame on those governors.

    Hillary will only gain the nomination if she steals it. And she's demonstrated throughout this campaign that she's willing to do just that! Despicable.

    March 6, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. Ann Conklin

    No, Michigan and Florida should not be seated. The rules were changed and agreed to by everyone and that is that. I regret it for the delegates but rules are rules and they must be honored. And let's see, the Republican Governor of Florida, who by the way is in the running for McCain's VP, is trying to dictate Florida be seated and the Democratic Governor of Michigan, who just happens to be supporting Clinton, is trying to dictate Michigan be seated. HMMMM....I think I smell 2 rats! Unfortunately if one candidate gets the nomination by Michigan and Florida this is one Democrat who will stay home and not vote.

    March 6, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  16. Billc

    Wolf, It is so obvious you are a Clinton supporter. It comes out when you cover results and daily news. I thought Journalist were to remain impartial. It's obvious you are not. Stay neutral, journalist.

    March 6, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  17. olu

    I just saw your interview with senator casey of pennsylvania and I think you should just go ahead and endorse clinton becuase it is very clear that she is your choice. I love the situation room but because of you clear chioce I will say shame on you wolf. really shame on you. and i will say shout up shout uppppppppppppppppppp.

    March 6, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. HD for Obama

    To Frank's comment above concerning Florida's vote should count b/c all the candidates were on the ballot.

    You apparently do not follow politics closely sir. Prior to the republican candidates campaigning in Florida, Guiliani was leading in the polls in Florida because of his national name recognition. However, once the voters learned more about McCain, Romney and Huckabee, the New York Mayor's numbers shrunk to the point where he had to drop out of the race. So his national name recognition had him leading in the polls.

    The same goes for Clinton. She had national name recognition going for her and voters did not get to know Obama. The more voters get to know Obama, the more they like him. The more voters get to know the Clintons, the more they dislike her.

    March 6, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. Felix Thomas

    Wolf Blitzer is not reporting evenly. He shows that he is PRO-Clinton. He did not even report this story "Clinton campaign denies Canadian report on NAFTA comments"

    Lou Dobbs is the same thing they are both Bias against Obama and they need to be neutral if they are going to be reporters and not supporters of a given candidates.

    Wolf is actually promoting Senator Clinton as the Democratic Nominee that way he reports and speaks a about the Senator Clinton. I am sick of it. I will stay home if they keep up this racist campaign against Obama.

    March 6, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. Concerned Citizen

    Florida and Michigan voters have a right to have their votes counted. It was flat out stupid of the DNC to punish the voters because they had a disagreement with state leaders. You don't take the voter's rights away to punish the local party leaders...look how well it has turned out!

    STUPID...STUPID...STUPID. It's working out just about as well as proportional state wins and superdelegates left to determine the nominee. Leave it to the Dems to snatch defeat from the jaws of certain victory. Three great candidates go down the tubes because the DNC can't get its act together.

    This is exactly how Bush wound up winning/stealing the last two elections. Disorganization and stupid moves by Democrats.

    March 6, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. Mike

    Every election process Florida seems to always be a part of some election scandle or controversy. If not problems with there voting process at the poles then, the Bush scandle that won him the presidentcy.
    Florida and Michigan knew the rules pryor to this primary as they wanted to move up and change there primary dates and they agreed to them.

    They agreed to them and the candidates agreed not to campaign in either Florida or Michigan. Senitor Obama was not even on any ballots.
    The rules simply can not be changed at this stage of the game.
    If Florida and Michigan wants to be seated at the convention and there votes to counted now, either split there delegates down the middle between Senitor Clinton and Senitor Obama or make Florida and Michigan pay for the entire do over process.

    They broke the rules and there has to be a stiff penility for this or Senitor Clinton will steel this election as Bush did,

    Mike, Connecticut

    March 6, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. wade

    ARE YOU GUYS KIDDING ME!!!! Holy Crap there are alot of immoral idiots out there. The same people that want to suddenly "forget" about the rules, want to break them and have a revote in Michigan and Florida. Your the same people that want Illegal aliens to "be forgiven" for breaking American Laws. There's a reason we have laws and rules. It's to make things fair. Not to change them when it's in the best interest of you. I don't like any of the Candidates, but I can see a shadey Candidate and Her brainwashed following as clear as day.......

    March 6, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. Paula

    Why can't we all be AMERICANS, and vote for the Person, not the color or the gender. They are worse than a room full of 5 yr olds. He did this,
    she did that. Grow up and vote for an adult. Peace comes first. Every
    thing else will follow. Harmony has a way of making things right.

    March 6, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. G.L.


    First, and foremost, that would not accurately reflect the voters choice, Secondly, it only advances the delegate count, the margin between them stays the same, clearly giving an undue advantage to Obama who did not win those delegates in the eyes of those who voted (in record numbers I might add).

    And what of the high voter turnout in those two states? Clearly, the voters knew how important it was to get out the vote for their party–they had already been paying attention to the campaigning around the country which has been going on for more than a year!!

    I would advise the people of FL and MI to file suit against the DNC if they are denied a voice in this election–a fair one that TRULY reflects their choice. Given the magnitude of issue, they would win, and win big!

    March 6, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  25. ken levy

    I live in the best state in America,Oregon.I don't have to take off work to vote,I don't have to stand for hours at some polling station.Here comes my mailman with my ballott.Im going to sit at my kitchen table with a cup of coffee and fill out my ballott.Then Im going to put my balott back in the evelope,slap a stamp on it and drop it in the mailbox.Childsplay.No hanging chads in Oregon.Now im headed out to go to my favorite fishing hole.Voteing in Oregon is just plain fun!

    March 6, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
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