May 6th, 2008
03:31 PM ET
13 years ago

Blitzer: Hold new Florida, Michigan primaries in August?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/05/06/primaries.change/art.voting.flag.in.ap.jpg caption="Some have raised the possibility of adding the Clinton-Obama race to Florida and Michigan's local elections this August."](CNN) - If neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama emerges after the final June 3 primaries with the magic number of 2,025 delegates – a very real possibility if the remaining contests are close – then this presidential nominating battle could indeed continue until the party convention in Denver that begins on Monday, August 25 and continues until Thursday night, August 28.

That would mean potentially a huge credentials fight on the convention floor involving the seating of those disputed delegates from Michigan and Florida, the two states that moved up their primaries against Democratic National Committee rules and were stripped of those delegates as a result.

Party leaders are clearly very worried about alienating Michigan and Florida voters. Both of those states are critical in the November general election against John McCain.

So how do the Democrats a) avoid a convention floor fight, and b) make sure Florida and Michigan voters are not disenfranchised?

Earlier, there had been an effort to get the two states to hold a second round of primaries but that collapsed for a variety of reasons. As a result, the widely-held assumption has been in recent weeks that it is now too late for such a second round of primaries to take place. But is it?

Here's one idea that is now being floated and that potentially could gain some traction though it would require the DNC changing its current rules which state that the primaries and caucuses must be concluded by early June.

Michigan already has a state-wide primary scheduled for August 5 for local and state elections. Florida has a similar state-wide primary scheduled for August 26, the second day of the Democratic convention in Denver. Why not let the two states add a Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama election to the ballots for those two primaries?

Adding that election to the already scheduled primaries for those two dates wouldn't add any additional cost to the states.

They would simply have to print a new ballot.

Is this a good idea? Would it reassure voters in Michigan and Florida that they would have a say in determining the Democratic presidential nominee? Should the DNC allow this to occur? What do you think?

Here's one thing to ponder – think how exciting that Democratic convention in Denver would be if on the second day it all came down to the Florida primary.


Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (288 Responses)
  1. John, Miss

    Here is the problem with CNN in a nutshell:

    "Adding that election to the already scheduled primaries for those two dates wouldn't add any additional cost to the states."

    "They would simply have to print a new ballot."

    I guess Wolf and team are paying for all the new ballots?

    May 6, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. Darryl

    Let just hold both elections in Jun 10th and let the clinton pay for it.

    May 6, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. Alan Boyer

    again...changing the rules because some don't like the outcome.

    May 6, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. Jason

    Obama the FRAUD will never go for two more large states dumping him down the tubes !

    Obama says Florida and Michigan DO NOT COUNT.

    Obama is a FRAUD

    May 6, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Ready for Change

    Pretty exciting Wolfe!!!!!

    May 6, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. sue

    THIS IS RIDICULOUS.

    If this happens, the DEMS will LOSE the general election. What an absurd plan this is.

    In augst we will only have 2 months to campain against McCain?!?! How crazy.

    May 6, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  7. Wayne

    Wolf. Get this in your head buddy. MI and FL will not count because they broke the rules. The penalty of breaking the rules is that they do not count.

    Why should the two states who violated the rules make the final decision over who should be the nominee??

    Wolf. It's like this. If Hillary cannot win with the rules that were set out before the first votes were cast in Iowa..then she cannot win. The party will not bend over backwards and change the rules just to benefit one candidate or the other. Nice try Wolfe but your lady LOST!!!

    HAA HAA HAAA..Watch Obama win NC tonight..this puppy is OVER.

    May 6, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. Venus

    That won't be happen! We are not going to the convention this year!

    FL and MI BROKE the freaking RULES! End of story!

    May 6, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. Kay, Goeriga

    No... It's only good for the news media.. This race needs to be over soon.

    May 6, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Michael

    If Obama wasn't on the ballot on Michigan, then YES...do a revote. If he lost to Hillary fair and square, then Florida should be counted in Hillary's corner.

    However, both states broke DNC rules and they have to pay for it. If I were the head of the party, I'd still penalize FL and MI for holding early elections and not have any vote that comes from the two states count. FL and MI would simply have to sit it out while the remaining 48 decided on the next president.

    May 6, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Reality Check ( which i should have done before ).

    MATHAMATICALLY SPEAKING, ITS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE FOR HILLARY CLINTON TO PULL THIS OFF NOW.

    May 6, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. Tiffany

    Blizter just made this up, since when is it the media's job to create political proposals? They broke the rules, they shouldn't put those "party elders" in power again if they don't like what they did. It's the states own fault. Screw Michigan and Florida for thinking they were special and could break the rules, don't reward by them by saying actually it's ok, here go ahead and we'll seat your delegates AND give you the very last votes in a critical election. No thanks.

    May 6, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. California Dem

    Why reward them?
    Why change the rules?
    August....GOD NO!

    May 6, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. Sue P / PA

    They can vote as long as thier votes DO NOT alter the race concluded on June 3rd....Their state governments broke the DNC rules.. period................ I agree their votes are worth seating the delegates in a FAIR fashion, but, they cannot alter this race. There was enough time to change their dates to within the rules of the DNC......... they still went ahead with it............ sorry, but rules are rules

    we dont need to teach our children that "rules are made to be broken"

    May 6, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Voice of Reason

    They made their beds.....

    May 6, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. Eileen from Portland, Maine

    It would be exciting from the media standpoint. They wouldn't have to spend money to pay anybody to actually do any indepth investigating in order to thoroughly tell a story. They could find something controversial about one of the candidates and just keep replaying distorted segments over and over until people who thought it was nothing begin to believe it is some huge story otherwise why would the media be so obsessed with it. Then they can spend another month or so reporting on peoples reactions to it.

    May 6, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. Matthew

    Well, in that case we might as well give the Nomination to Hillary. Its like playing cards or any game. Once you know the cards (the likely out of Flo and Mig primary) then continue playing as if you don't know it, you are actually cheating. Clinton should not have waite until the cards are played then to call for Florida and Mig.

    VA

    May 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. Matthew

    Democrats think they lost the General Election in 2000 because of Florida. Not seating the delegates would probably cause a voter uproar in the General Election and lose the democrats the White House in 2008.

    The democrats are throwing their voters for a loop, which is hurting the party. They say having two candidates is hurting the party? What about the DNC ignoring voters?

    I'm a democrat. But, my party is ticking me off to the point where the Republicans, with their open door, and their cool composure, are looking inviting...

    May 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. Glenn Norton

    You must be one of the few Liberals who really wants this thing setted at the convention. These two will never hug and work hand in hand. Bet on it.

    May 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. shan

    as a florida voter, i'm not disenfranchised at all. it was our state gov't that did the harm, not the democratic party. our gov. knew there would be a penalty for his actions yet he did it anyway in an effort to sway the rest of the country.

    no more crist!

    May 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. mama4obama

    Oh heck no. You would love that wouldn't you Wolf. Not happening. The DNC made the rules long before the race ever started. The ones that should be held accountable are the officials responsible in Florida and Michigan. Those votes should not be counted because those states chose to break the rules.

    END OF STORY!!!!!

    May 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. John Sewell

    Who's floating this idea? The article never mentions the source. Is this just a Wolf Blitzer scheme or do either of the candidates wish this? Howard Dean gave a very clear explanation of why things are the way they are on the Daily Show last week. It boils down to this: We have rules. We're following the rules. We are also humane and will find a way to make sure both Florida and Michigan are present at the convention.

    Why can't we just leave it at that? If there's one state in the union that needs a hard-knocks lesson in how to vote properly, it's Florida. Maybe some tough love is exactly what they need right now.

    May 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. Michelle

    You fail Wolf Blitzer. This is an obvious attempt to "create" news so that you and the other networks get more ratings. This is a TERRIBLE IDEA for the Democratic Party. Let it play out by the current rules without Florida and Michigan chumps who jumped the gun with their primaries. End of story.

    May 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. voter in AR

    NO MORE LETTING EVERYTHING RIDE ON FLORIDA!

    Haven't we gotten enough of all the, voting rights violations, hanging chads and court cases?

    Sheeesh!

    May 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. Jay in Houston

    Florida and Michigan should be added on one condition – if Obama is still leading in pledged delegates after adding the two, superdelegates should pledge to him, regardless of how narrow the pledged delegate margin becomes.

    May 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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