March 24th, 2008
04:40 PM ET
14 years ago

Puerto Rico officially moves up its Democratic vote

(CNN) - Puerto Rico’s primary date has officially been switched to Sunday, June 1, making Montana and South Dakota’s June 3 primaries the year’s final Democratic presidential nominating contests.

The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws committee approved Puerto Rico’s revised delegate selection plan on Monday afternoon. The territory was previously scheduled to hold caucuses on June 7, but Puerto Rico Democratic Party officials said that the June 7 date listed on its original plan was the result of a typo.

Under Puerto Rico law, the event must be held on the first Sunday in June, but the original plan mistakenly listed the June 7 date, which is the first Sunday in June 2009, not 2008.

Puerto Rico Democrats originally planned to hold caucuses, not anticipating that the Democratic presidential race would continue to be competitive into June. According to Puerto Rico party officials, the change was made to a primary to improve voter turnout and also to minimize any voting confusion that may stem from the caucus process.

The last competitive Democratic primary in Puerto Rico was in 1980, when President Jimmy Carter narrowly edged Sen. Ted Kennedy.

There are 55 delegates at stake in Puerto Rico - 36 district-level delegates will be elected at the June 1 primary; another 19 statewide delegates will be chosen at the state convention on June 21, but that selection will be based on the June 1 primary results. The territory also has 8 superdelegates.

Puerto Rico has more delegates at stake at its primary than 34 other states and territories, making it one of the biggest prizes of the remaining 10 contests.

The Rules and Bylaws Committee also approved some procedural modifications to the Guam caucuses, scheduled for May 3, but no substantive changes were made.

Filed under: Puerto Rico
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Talimee

    And now PR notices that it was a typo? Come on, they just want to end this sooner rather than later. But it is not fair that Florida and Michigan pay for "moving" their primaries and PR doesnt. My point is not to disenfranchised PR voters (not that they vote in November, but it is nice for them to vote now). My point is that the moving of elections should not be the cause to disenfranchise MILLIONS of voters. The DNC was ok with this, but not ok with the other two. Not fair and they should either have a re-vote or count!

    March 24, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  2. kathleen

    TO Hillary,
    When you look like a liar, and talk like a liar, and walk like a liar,
    you are a liar.


    March 24, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. ShannonL

    This is interesting and probably a bad thing for the Democratic Party. Clinton will most likely take PR and this will further add to the mess in Denver.

    March 24, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. KLM

    Why are they allowed to make all these changes?????

    March 24, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  5. Darth Vadik, CA

    I guess this is good.

    March 24, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  6. Elder

    Why shouldn't state MI and Fl be counted?
    Both states should count? MI and Fl are key to the Presidential Election. Obama should support a new primary.

    March 24, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  7. Patriot

    So we can change the rules for Puerto Rico, but not Fla or Michigan.
    What gives. Are they going to punish PR now. Hillary will win Puerto Rico, but Barak will get the delegates that is how the DNC works.
    Some Democracy.

    March 24, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  8. Ron, TX

    Puerto Rico doesn't even get to vote in the Presidential election... does it?

    March 24, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. Black Republican, New York, New York

    EXTRACTED QUOTE: "According to Puerto Rico party officials, the change was made to a primary to improve voter turnout and also to minimize any voting confusion that may stem from the caucus process."

    That's a freakin lie! Lie! Lie! Lie! Lie!

    In order to ensure Hillary beats Obama, they switched from caucus format to primary format because they know caucuses favor Obama and primaries favor Hillary.

    More kitchen sink throwing.

    March 24, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. FEDUP

    Thank God, all the people get to vote not just a few.

    March 24, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. Carol

    I'd bet my last bottom dollar that the Clintons had something to do with the format being changed from a caucus to a primary. I just don't trust the Clintons on anything anymore.

    March 24, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  12. chris nguyen

    this is a good news for hillary.. she will do well in the final primary to prove to voters that she is a leader and a tough contender to john mc caine in the general election ..

    March 24, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  13. Rohit

    There goes my tax-dollar. Paying for Puerto-Rico's say in election with more impact than 34 other states. Well done.

    Hillary/Sinbad '08: Experienced from day one – dodging sniper bullets.

    March 24, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  14. GL

    Surprised not to see a bunch of Michigan & Florida voters whining up a storm over this article. See what actually happens when you follow the rules..

    March 24, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  15. Tim


    March 24, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  16. SuperRican

    Puerto Rico will go for Obama all the way, hillary is out of her mind if she thinks she will win here, all latino's don't vote the same!!

    Obama 08

    March 24, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  17. gerard morei

    Puerto Rico apoya a Clinton.
    Puerto Rico for HILLARY!!!!!!

    March 24, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. Candace, Delanco, New Jersey

    Is the DNC kidding? Another chancce to show the Republicans how much we can screw things up!

    Dont be surprised if Hillary request moving the primary up to May 5th. I'm sure she has a Cinco de Mayo scarf in her closet.


    You guys are killing me!

    March 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  19. Susan

    Sounds like Billary has been busy again getting the Puerto Rico government to change the rules, changing from a caucus to a primary in order for her to steal some more delegates. I wonder how much they had to pay to get it done?

    March 24, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  20. Chris - California

    Hillary wins huge with the latino vote here in the United States. Obviouisly it will benefit her huge in Puerto Rico. She is going to win huge there where the main race is latino/Puerto Rican. GO HILLARY!

    March 24, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  21. polly h

    I live in nova scotia, canada. I have been paying attention to the political race in the US. This is my believe that the US is not ready for a woman president even I would vote for her. I believe that most people have some bias in some area of our lives. Its been my experience that the people that we are most bias about is people that are like our selves. I believe the Obama wouldn't be where he in the election if he wasn't
    africain Americans who is voting 85 – 95 percent for him do the math
    Also would you put someone with his senator lack of as your CEO of your company with more experience I would give him real consideration. minister are supposed to be uplifting it is amazing that we all see what is wrong with everone but our pick stick to the issues and take a stand instead of I am president

    March 24, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  22. LatinoNation

    I ask all you latinos to Vote Clinton LatinosforClinton !! stay strong !!

    March 24, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  23. North Carolina

    Chariman Howard Dean needs to step down and take that idiot Speaker Pelosi with him. Then there needs to be a revote in Fl and Mi. Anything less than all citizens votes counting isn't democracy. The DNC's ruling is arbitrary : they chose it. It was a mistake, and it needs to be fixed.

    March 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  24. Bob

    BLACK REPUBLICAN, You are right. I'm suprised that many Bloggers here didn't know about that. The PR CABINET is full of the CLINTON'S CRONIES and they just sided them and changed from Caucus to Primary.

    What a sad day for 'our Democratic principles'. It's not that they hid there feelings about OBAMA DOMINANCE in the Caucuses. No, not at all. They said it openly and nobody challenged them because they could have changed that at the begining of this primary season. WHY NOW?

    Wake up Americans! We have a long way to go in our DEMOCRACY.

    March 24, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  25. Mike


    If the nominating process WAS ONLY BASED ON POPULAR VOTES/DELEGATES than it does not MAKE ANY COMMON SENSE to have a set number, 2024, to clinch the nomination.

    Personally I belive OBAMA is a lost cause, HILLARY has some chances but will be marred if African-american revolt. So both should step down and DNC should nominate a more acceptable candidate to get back the White House.

    March 24, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
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