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

Blitzer: Hold new Florida, Michigan primaries in August?

[cnn-photo-caption image= 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. CopyCat

    U have to be KIDDING.
    We have to get on with it Mr. Blitzer!
    This election will be over May 20, 2008 and we will start preparing for John McCain on May 10, 2008. After tonight, Obama will need less than 40 pledged delegates to hold the majority throughout the rest of the primaries. We do not have time for this pandering and moving the posts and new elections, and whatever else the media can come up with.

    Our lives depend on this election; war, American bankruptcy, no alternate energy, losing superpower status....


    May 6, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. Katherine & John

    Of course Michigan and Florida votes must be counted and their delegations must be seated and be full participants in the DNC convention in August. It's ludicrous to think otherwise. You can't have a nominating convention with only 48 states. The nominee would not be legitimate and the Dems cannot win without Florida and Michigan in November.

    Hillary Clinton will be the nominee with the votes of Michigan and Florida. That's why Obama is trying so hard to disenfranchise the voters in these states. The Democratic party cannot be in the business of disenfranchising voters. Michigan is holding an election in August anyway, it would not cost anymore to add the Presidential names to the ballot. It's a win, win solution. Florida should be counted as it was voted as both names were on the ballot, Hillary received more than twice the votes of Obama in Florida.

    Hillary Clinton should be the nominee of the party because she's the most qualified, most electable candidate in the race. It IS about winning. Obama is unelectable. Obama's caucus wins are meaningless in a general election.

    Hillary Clinton has already proven she can win big in the big, electoral rich states that are the must wins for the Dems in November. Obama has won exactly NONE of these states and in polls loses to McCain in matchups while Hillary beats McCain in the must win states. If you can't win in states like Ohio and Penn, you cannot win the Presidency.
    Obama has outspent Hillary 4 to 1 in Ohio and PEnn, yet lost by a wide margin, only winnning the black vote.

    The Democratic party would be foolish to nominate an unelectable candidate in Obama.


    May 6, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. John-MO

    Keep Obama and Clinton out of the re-vote process. Obama has made an effort to block the re-vote efforts because it is in his best interest. Clinton wants the re-vote because it is in her best interest.

    Get those votes counted, let their voices be heard because it is the right thing to do, not the political thing to do. The Democratic party is split pretty much in half over this race, short of a joint Clinton/Obama ticket, getting Florida and Michigan delegates counted is the only way things will work out for the Democrats.

    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. an eye in ohio

    Obama people are such bad sports fans. If FL and MI will count in the general election, those votes will matter in the big game. Try to grow up, guys, and if you have a winner, you don't need to stop the contest.

    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. NDS_Democrat

    Hi Blitzer

    Please be fair.


    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. SLO Bear

    I used to trust CNN for news; now, it is pretty obvious that the American people can trust them to support the Clintons–at the expense of the country.

    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. Wolverine

    1. DNC dug its whole when they barred MI & FL. Let them come out of it.
    2. What is it that Obama supporters are really AFRAID off. Both candidates have equal opportunity to compete ...and get a better result. Repolling in MI & FL is better option than letting some dimwit-super delegate decide who should run on Dem ticket.
    3. The price of printing new ballots will be marginal ....given the implications of not resolving this issue fair & square.
    4. Overall, conducting primaries in MI & FL is good thing for Dems....otherwise, Dems will go to Nov polls DIVIDED and that will play well the OLD MAN! and four more years of Republican rule.

    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. Mike Jones

    Wolf, did the Clinton campaign put you up to this? I bet you would love to stretch this out to august for ratings. This thing is over on June 3rd. Wolf tell your buddies the Clintons that the fat lady is warming up.

    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. USAF Sr. Airman

    Let's re count ALL the votes, but only count the ones cast for Clinton.... Just as good as all these other ideas.

    They knew their delegates wouldn't count. Florida and Michigan were warned. They jacked it up, they have to deal with it.

    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. Debra Austin, Texas

    The fact that this must be the third article by Blitzer regarding dragging this thing on until August, either he is a dithering Clinton fan or a corporate stooge. I would guess the latter since he's never represented an opinion of his own and the continuation of this battle would suit the Republican corporate bottom dwellers just fine. Stop guiding the message before the MSM is erased altogether.

    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. Melissa

    Hehe. I like the picture caption. "Some have raised the possibility of adding the Clinton-Obama race to Florida and Michigan's local elections this August."

    "Some" being a roundabout way to say "Wolf Blitzer" 😀 But please, tell us what you really think.

    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. Miguel

    But Wolf, if we don't go forward with and extended re-do what will the Obama freaks have left to snark about? So many of them want this to be over but then they would not have an outlet for all their useless dribble.

    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. Des,Toronto

    No No No....Clinton can only win if you rig the primary like Mugabe just did in Zimbabwe......No No by the rules and don't try to come up with some scheme to rob the legitimate winner Obama. Blitzer should stick to his biased news reporting period.

    Obama 08

    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. Ken M.

    Dragging it out through August sure would help CNN ratings.

    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Todd

    Oh Come on....So WHO will pay for ballots, additional polling place workers and security. Not too mention the TIME needed to count the ballots and re-register voters.

    They KNEW the rules...sorry, you cannot change the rules in the middle just because it doesn't suit your needs. Florida & Michigan didnt matter to Hillary in the beginning of election season, but now that she is failing and falling fast she is wanting the delegates seated and voters voices heard. She could care less about "disenfranchised" voters. Do you think she would want this to happen if SHE were in the lead in popular vote and delegates seated? NO WAY......

    Give it up WOLFIE, the wreck is going down..get out before you drown.

    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Richard PA

    Lets Face Facts...

    1-Clinton agreed to the MI and FL penalty for moving the primary dates well before the campaign
    2-ONLY until now, when she need them the most, does she cry foul play and blames all of the fellow democrats for not listening to the voters... as well as Obama for not changing the rules??
    3-IF she and the democrats from MI and FL cared SOOOO much for the voters in MI and FL why didnt she scream and yell like she is now to make sure their votes are counted back when she agreed to those terms!!!! Why now?? If you were so compasionate about the voters why didnt HRC make a big stink then?? She maybe the front runner now if she did make a big deal out of it then...

    HRC Senior Panderer...

    May 6, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |

    Obama does not need to win because he did not get the popular vote.
    Most Americans want Hillary ( florida and Michigan, remember?)
    But I suppose the powers that be will select us another prez like back in 2000.

    May 6, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Molly


    Too bad the obama group hates it – because he lost the first time and will loose the next time around.
    AND – the PEOPLE did NOT break the rules – the "Party Leaders" did.
    Also – I live in South Carolina – we also moved up our vote date WAY early- and were not punished!!!!! WHY???? Seems like SC was a more
    "diverse" state – that is what I was told!

    May 6, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. ERIC


    May 6, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  20. Cocktails42 from Seattle

    The Florida primary included all of the candidates' names on its ballot, and therefore the results of that election should count in some way. For holding its primary too early, Florida should be punished in the same way that the Republican Party punished it for the same infraction–by taking away half of its nominating votes at the convention.

    As for Michigan, if the DNC is willing to change its rules to allow for an early August primary, then this might be the best solution for that state.

    It seems unfair to basically disenfranchise the many voters of these 2 states just because of the backroom maneuverings of some state and party officials.

    May 6, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  21. Kit

    I am an "undecided" (Obama) Michigan voter. I supported moving the primary up to have economic issues heard across the nation. Finally they have! But the DNC rules must be followed. Seat the MI and FL delegations without the ability to vote the first round – if it goes to further rounds of voting, then let them vote their candidate like any other delegate can do in the later rounds.

    May 6, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. Kwaku, CA

    Primaries in August 5th? The-love-drama media would rather this nomination process goes no forever regardless of the consequences for Democrats in November. The eventual nominee would need substantial time to bring the party together before the convention in end of August. Therefore campaigning till August will be disastrous. rules, agreed upon by all contestants, should be enforced. End of story, end of media fantasies1

    May 6, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. Concerned Canadian

    The race will go on till mid to late June. Al Gore is coming out to endorse Hillary Clinton. Edwards is coming out and endorsing Hillary Clinton.

    Also at this time, Florida and Michigan will be arranged to have their votes counted as well...which Hillary will easily win both. Barack Hussein Obama made the political mistake of his life by not cooperating in order to find a way to get the votes in those two states to count.

    To add salt to the wound , Bill Ayers and more Rev Wright controversy will blow up in his face and his support will disappear before you can say 'yes we can'.

    Bye Bye Barack !! Its been nice knowing ya.

    HILLARY O8 !!

    May 6, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. smart grrl in ls mo

    Obama supporters don't care whether votes are supressed.

    May 6, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. DCER

    Seat Florida and Michigan! We need them to win in the general election. Obama cannot win, so nominate Hillary already!

    May 6, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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