March 7th, 2008
08:28 PM ET
14 years ago

Levin: No practical or fair way to hold a Michigan re-vote

(CNN) - Michigan Sen. Carl Levin - one of the most powerful Democratic politicians in Michigan - has weighed in against a re-vote that would allow the state’s delegation to be seated at the party’s national convention this summer.

“Senator Levin doesn’t see at this time a practical and fair way to hold a ‘do-over’ election in Michigan given the immense financial and logistical hurdles, and in any event believes that a change in course would require acceptance by both candidates,” read a statement posted on his Senate Web site Friday.

Negotiations over a new vote - involving representatives from the state and national parties and the campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - hit a snag Thursday when the Michigan Democratic party chairman Mark Brewer said that it could cost as much as $10 million.

Levin’s statement said that unless an agreement was reached before August, the decision would fall to the Credentials Committee that certifies delegates – with their ruling subject to appeal to the full convention.

Michigan and Florida lost their voting power as a result of Democratic National Committee penalties for their decision to hold their primaries in January, despite party instructions.

The major candidates all signed an agreement that they would not campaign in either state before those votes, and most withdrew their names from Michigan’s ballot, with the exception of Hillary Clinton, who won both contests.

Levin has not backed any presidential candidate this cycle.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Michigan
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Beverly

    He is absolutely right, both Michigan and Florida's delagates should be split 50/50. It is about making their delegates are seated, right/

    Or is is about the Clinton Campaign finding a way to cheat to win the nomination

    March 7, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. Wayne

    Negotiations should have been held when FL and MI first announced that they would move up their date. Once votes started rolling in the time to change things ended. Kind of like in can only challenge a play BEFORE the next play starts. Once the next play starts the last play is HISTORY.

    Obama wins..what a historic time it will be when he becomes President.

    March 7, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  3. Obama Al-Gore Ticket

    Sorry Hillary, we can't change the rules of the contest until you win. At the time as you entered the race, you knew what the rules were and you agreed to them, particularly you agreed that FL and Michigan votes will not count. However, even if you succeed in making the two states to revote, OBAMA will gain even more – this will put you even further behind.

    March 7, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. Yes ...

    Senator Clinton is one of two candidates who did NOT abandon the voters of Michigan. I guess the guys then figured it out and left their names on for the Florida voters. Senator Clinton also was asking for – and before the Florida votes – that the decision of the DNC be reconsidered. She was not for disenfranchising the voters!!!!!!

    All voters shoudl keep this in mind. Senator Obama does not want them seated because it will compromise his standing. Senator Clinton asked that they be seated all along.

    I think all the voters votes should be counted as they stand. Senator Obama has his team in there and even though he chose to remove his name, had his staff instruct people to vote non-conformed (a vote against Senator Clinton)....although he did not spend 2-3 times more money than Senator Clinton.

    As for Florida – they should count as they stand.....all names were there and the voters spoke! (remember, Florida does get CNN and other national news that Senator Obama had ads on but not Senator Clinton)..........

    March 7, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. bo

    what a democracy we have – in my opinion it is the fault of these states for denying their citizens the right to vote. what a shame.

    March 7, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    Do a caucus, helloooooooooo

    March 7, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  7. HH

    CHEAT TO WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE HILLARY WAY!!!!!!! Thats solutions all of us should follow. This will be the first and last woman candiate America see justs by the way she is running.

    March 7, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  8. Dusacre

    Just split Michigan and Florida delegates 50-50 and let them seat!

    March 7, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  9. snadylady

    Can anyone tell me why Michigan and Florida decided to make the decision to go early?

    March 7, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  10. Joe

    Actually, why does MI matter? "Not Hillary" got almost as many votes as "Hillary". Also, MI knew the rules when they made the decision. Same is true in FL. Funny that nobody (including Senator Clinton) seemed to think this mattered until AFTER the polls closed in South Carolina. If Senator Clinton was that concerned, why didn't she say anything about these votes before before she embarked on the "win at all cost" campaign?

    March 7, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. Lana; FORMER lifelong liberal democrat

    two million plus voters did not make the decision to move up their primary.

    March 7, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  12. Chuck in Oregon

    Leave it to Hillay to be caculating and deceptive enough to leave her name on the ballots of both states, knowing she could claim a win with out having to spend time or money. Knowing her I would even ventur to say that her supporters made phone calls and such to draw voters out in her favor all the while stressing that the vote would not count thus keeping potential Obama supports from voting

    March 7, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  13. Ann, MI

    As much as I would like the opportunity to make a choice in this primary season, I agree with Senator Levin. Our state is in such financial trouble right now that I cannot justify using public monies for another primary. The Republican legislature, in concert with our Democratic governor, gambled that the national party would capitulate and let us move our primary earlier. They lost. Get over it.

    As an attorney, I also believe in the rule of law. IF you agree to not compete in a competition, then claim victory, you do not deserve to win. It's a shame my fellow attorney Hillary Clinton does not agree.

    Finally, it is dishonest of Senator Clinton and her supporters to talk about "disenfranchised" voters. She learned the same cases I did in law school, and knows that the primaries are PRIVATE elections. There is no right to vote in them, only the national election.

    March 7, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  14. Nicole

    Why should they count those delgates? Florida and Michigan broke the rules! How dare christ ask for them to be seated when he, himself moved up the primary against the recommendations of DNC.

    March 7, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  15. Adam

    They will redo the primaries and reseat the delegates. It's inevitable. Hillary will win them and will have the best case to make at the convention that she wins consistently the critical key democratic states necessary to carry the White House. Barack is done. The hype is soon to be over!

    March 7, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  16. Mark

    If they don't recount, Obama will cry foul.
    If they recount, Hillary will cry foul.

    March 7, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. James Recto, Independent from Texas

    Let's take it into a bright light and put it this way; Major candidates all signed an agreement that they would not campaign in either state before those votes and they did exactly as agreed upon and millions of voters from Florida and Michigan have decided to vote anyway – NOW THIS IS CALLED DEMOCRACY! No one can deprived any citizens of the United States the right to vote and if Sen. Levin doesn't see at this time a practical way to hold a do-over then what is he suggesting to the voters of his own state of Michigan? Sen. Levin will be seen as UNPATRIOTIC and UN CARING to the citizens of Michigan. That's what they will remember about him comes election!

    March 7, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  18. Kentucky

    I am confident that Al Gore would like all the votes counted. Lord knows he knows what it is like when all the votes are not counted.

    The Democratic Party will be large large hypocrites if they do not do not count the votes of Florida and Michigan. These two states are needed in November.

    The question is are we nominating a nominee or are we trying to win an election?

    March 7, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  19. Be Fair

    If DNC decided not to count Florida and Michigan delegates
    , it should then also reduce the total delegates required for nomination from 2024 (half of the total delegates) to about 1870 (half of the delegates for the remaining total delegates).

    That makes perfect sense and solves the whole problem easily.

    March 7, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  20. Gary in CT

    The Governors of both states are the ones at fault here. They both had the proposed bill in their hands last and knew full well that if they signed it, there would be consequences. The residents of both Michigan and Florida need to realize and accept that their respective Governors made mistakes and the residents lost out because of those mistakes. There will be another gubernatorial race for them to pay them back.

    March 7, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  21. kevin from alaska

    I heard they don't have them on the SAT's anymore but what the heck....

    Michigan:Mitt Romney::Ohio & Texas:Hillary Clinton

    March 7, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. Matt Collins

    Obama gains support when he gets to meet voters. That's how he won in Virginia. That's how he narrowed a 20 point disadvantage to a tie in Texas. So when he can't campaign in Michigan, the lesser known Obama would lose out to Hillary who rode Bill's coat-tails in that election.

    This is the fault of the state governments in Michigan, not the DNC or any of the candidates. "Outraged" Clinton democrats should remember that when they go to the state polls next time.

    March 7, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  23. Patsy

    I pray that if Sillary gets the democratic nomination that Barack goes for an "independent" place on the ballot. I will not even go to vote if Hillary is the democratic nominee. I wonder what it will be like to have 28 states worth of Barack democrates stay home. I will laugh at what the turn out becomes!

    March 7, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  24. DrFill

    I don't have a problem with them revoting.
    As long as they pay for it.
    The DNC shouldn't spend one dollar on ntheir mistakes.

    March 7, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. Austin

    Where is the public outcry directed at the legislatures in these two states that created this mess. They knew the consequences prior to the start of the primaries and thumbed their noses at the National Parties. They knew full well that by breaking the agreed upon rules, that they would cause this mess (delegates not being seated).

    I am no Howard Dean fan, but why should the DNC have to pay for a re-vote? Citizens of Michigan and Florida, you should upset with your state legislators and NOT the National Parties. It is the State Legislators that silenced your say in the nomination process NOT the DNC.

    March 7, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
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