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. Maurice

    Yikes. The SECOND day of the convention?? that's ridiculous. Since the elections can't be decided without super delegate approval (and it's that way by design), the super delegates will decide before the convention and make FL irrelevant. Arguably. It already is. If you use pledge delegates as you metric, MI and FL aren't enough for Hillary. Popular vote is flawed since 4 states haven't even released their totals. Also, it depends on how you count it in Michigan. Even if you use delegates from FL and Michigan as is (as long as you give Hillary all the uncommitted delegates), Obama will win.

    May 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. PK

    Shut up Wolf... you and your dragging accent

    May 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. Ryan H

    If the main problem is organization and money problems, and they are desperate to seat MI and FL, why not have online voting? Use Driver's Licenses and such to get your chance to vote and then tally the online votes. It may not be the most effective or traditional method, but it could give a fairly accurate representation of what the voters want if they are desperately looking to seat MI and FL. A tiny problem would be the lack of computer access, so I suppose there would need to be a few hubs where citizens without computer/Internet access could go to vote.

    Just a thought.

    May 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Yes we can!

    Bad idea....how about the voters put the blame on where it belongs....ON THEIR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS....how about we practice what we preach and follow the rules....how about the people of florida and michigan take to the streets of their local capital and city hall and protest there...it's not anyone's fault but of their local government as to the situation their in....Both Obama and Hillary agreed to the rules and it clearly shows the integrity of a person who is willing to use this for advantage or disaventage of the other candidate because it's convenient.....SHAME ON FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT FOR BEING SO FAST AND THINKING HILLARY WAS GOING TO RAP THIS UP BACK IN JANUARY!....IOWA SPOKE AND THE REST OF US ARE SPEAKING NOW,,,,,OBAMA 2008/2012

    May 6, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. Mark

    Wolf,

    That's a really dumb idea.

    Mark

    May 6, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. CW in DC

    Sounds about as fair a plan as any but if this thing lasts until August, I may be on meds!!!!!!!

    May 6, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. Mike, Raleigh

    We are the oldest democracy and that is the way to go. You can not cheat florida/Michgan voters. They need to be counted.

    Hillary is fact and Obama is act.

    May 6, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. Kathy Ritch

    It would be divine (as in sublime) justice to have the nomination hinge on Florida down to the proverbial wire. The DNC wants to annoint a candidate long before the convention, however, so don't look to Howard Dean to sanction a change in rules to allow for a revote in August. He'd rather see the Democrats lose the Presidential election to the Republicans than give up on his attempt to insure that Obama is the candidate. Dean will "pack" all the Committees and add more Super Delegates to get his way. Who cares if it destroys the Party?

    May 6, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  9. Sharon

    There goes Wolf. Stiring the pot as usual. Why don't you just tell the news instead of making it up as you go along.

    May 6, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. PA_Hill-fan

    Yes, it is definitely a good idea to have primaries again in Michigan and Florida,.

    May 6, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. Karla

    I cannot believe they are still talking about these two states. The states did what they did and they should pay the price. Hillary and Obama neither one cared about them when this happened early on because Hillary presumed she would be the absolute nominee. Now that those votes really mean something to her, she sees importance in it. Obama would have to agree so Hillary wouldn't get one up on him by cheating again!

    May 6, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Richard

    That would be a slap in the face to the 48 states that ran their primaries by the rules. Michigan and Florida approved these rules and then broke them; why should they be rewarded for doing so?

    May 6, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. masgap

    Fl and Michigan should be heard. this is America where all 50 states

    should have a say. It could be done and should be done!!!

    May 6, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. andrew in denver

    Why not? Because we cannot afford to wait until late august and continnue the bitter and negative campaign that HRC is running to continue to grind down our possible unity.

    "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." – wolf

    Only the republicans want that. No it is a bad idea, changing rules because you are losing is always a bad idea, i learned that in kindergarten.

    May 6, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. Robert in Toronto,ON

    Do the Democrats want to wait till the end of August to have their nominee??

    That will give them...what? 4 weeks to heal the party and go after McCain and the Republican machine?

    Trust me, this nominee WILL be decided by June 10th, if not sooner.

    And the winner will be... Senator Barack Obama.

    May 6, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. so ironic

    Wolf,

    This has all gone too far. If the DNC would need to change its rules to have a re-vote in Michigan and Florida, why establish rules in the first place. Again, this is changing the rules during the game which, I'm sorry to say, is unfair to BOTH candidates.

    Also, it would only give the nominee two months to get ready for the general. This is a recipe for failure for the Dems. We need to end this race ASAP and get behind Obama who will win this race on a level playing field. Why drag this pointless prcess on when Clinton can't overtake him?

    May 6, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. Mike

    Under the 14th amendment of the constitution their primaries are legal. They just broke a two year old DNC rule is all.

    However even if they would have waited a couple of weeks it would have still strongly gone for Hillary anyway. Obama's numbers were very low during the time that Florida and Michigan were "supposed" to hold their primaries.

    May 6, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. Dave - Minneapolis

    No. The party doesn't want to wait until August, and Hillary isn't going to win anything.

    MI and FL: Learn from your mistake, and try not to screw it up next time.

    May 6, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. Valerie

    Wolfe,
    That's a very good idea. It would be an even better idea if they moved the august dates up to early July to still give locals time to campaign, but also that this doesn't drag on any longer.

    As long as the Democrats are battling, John McCain has free reign to campaign all over the country without real opposition. I don't think the Democrats want him to go uncontested for so long, or want to have only 3 months before the Novemeber election to campaign.

    Operation Chaos is doing it's job well.

    May 6, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. kathleen retired Professional w/woman for obama

    If she wins tonight, because 100,000 Republicans voted for Her
    thanks To Rove, Limbaugh and Hannity, then it she won't give a
    hoot about Fla. and Michigan.

    May 6, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. Lee WV

    Boy the media would sure like to drag this on til August or Sept.I guess this would make it a little less unfair to hand the nomination to Hillary.Why be afraid to follow rules.Hey let's have another Super Bowl in Sept to see if New England can win.

    May 6, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. Jeanne from Michigan

    As a resident of Michigan, I would to have our voices heard, but am not thrilled about having to wait until August settle this race. I say split the delegates 50-50. It is the ONLY fair way to resolve this. Michigan's "Primary" was such a sham and everyone knew it. So many people stayed home in protest of our idiot Govenor making us such laughing stocks of the nation. And Jennifer Granholm (Michigan's Gov) is also State Chair for Clinton campaign. Everyone smelled a rat.

    May 6, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. The Dude

    Sorry, Wolf. It may be exciting to you, but I need to know who my candidate is before August 26'th. That only leaves two months to bring the party back together. Look at how heated this whole thing has gotten now, just wait until the convention.

    Obviously you guys benefit the most out of this, when it comes to ratings. Sellouts.

    I'd like Obama, but seriously...
    ANYONE BUT MCCAIN '08!

    May 6, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. seth

    THEY BROKE THE RULES....I AGREE TEACH THE CHILDREN....GROW UP AND LEARN THAT THE RULES WERE
    BROKEN TOO BAD FOR FL AND MICH.... END OF STORY...OBAMA
    WINS AND HILLARY SHOULD BE GRACIOUS AS OBAMA HAS BEEN
    A GENTLEMEN ...TEACH THE KIDS...PLEASE!!

    May 6, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. wwf

    Are you nuts? Wolf. Are you afraid that you won't have anything to talk about? Maybe you want to see the Democratic Party come to an end. It has to end soon. If this keeps up all summer, there will be no party left. The Democrats have already loaded the gun for political suicide and will be pulling the trigger after June 1st. Any hope for the party rests in bringing it back together. That cannot be done between August and November. I must say that the media has done the best job in recent history of helping creating this mess with you thirst to tell the voters what you think is important instead of sticking to the issues that mattter. Just the humble opinion of an Independent who is tired of the media creating the new instead of just reporting and the Deomcratic Party acting like 3 year olds.

    May 6, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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