May 6th, 2008
03:31 PM ET
14 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. John Smith,TX

    Hold a new primary was the right way to fix the problem but Obama and his camp opposes because he is leading in delegates count. Obama is accusing everybody of using a old politics but obama is double talk himself. If the DNC think that they can cheat Hillary by pushing her on the side they need to congratulate MCcain for the presidency. The only lead Obama is enjoying is the lead he's got from causes. Causes are not democratic. Will will see who will laugh at last if process is unfair. Clyburn needs to ahead and endorses Obama with all his talk. Obama is Black go ahead and endorse him.

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

    the reason they need to change the rules is because nobody will achieve the needed delegates to nominate. they will both fall short the rules don't read the closest to 2025. come on you people be sensible

    May 6, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Liberty


    Rules are rules- Florida and Michigan knowingly broke the rules. If the residents of that state are unhappy, they should call for the ouster for the governor and all the state legislators who voted to go against party rules since this is THEIR FAULT!!!

    You can't change the rules in the middle of the game. Anyone who thinks so is a SORE LOSER!!!

    May 6, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. David

    Wolf, Michigan and should be heard !!

    May 6, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. vic nashville,Tn

    To my understanding only3 people know how important the Florida votes
    1) Karl Rove
    2) G.W.Bush
    3) Al Gore
    So they have to answer your questions

    May 6, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. Just fed Up with the Clintons

    I do not think the DNC should include Florida or Michigan votes. The situation and circumstances were known by every executive and consumer participant in this process and yet, the date for the vote was moved up. What just amazes me is that no one is turning their ire towards the decision maker for moving the voting date up!! The DNC did not move the date up, they just advised what the rules and circumstances would be if that happened... well, it did happen, so now who is to blame?? Certainly not the DNC. Why should the DNC be held accountable for the Republican's decision??

    Also, I can clearly speak for myself as I am from Florida, Floridians turned out because there was a very important item on the ballot for our state as well as our county. No one is speaking about why people turned out to vote, we knew our votes were not going to count in the primary.

    May 6, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. Dylan


    It's useless to even report this except to get Hillary's supporters hopes up. Oh, wait, Wolf is a Hillary supporter...

    May 6, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. Tjaye

    I say split the votes 55/45 and be done. She only got 55% of the votes even when she was uncontested. Don't count it as a win in her column, just count the delegates. After all, Clinton claims that her only concern is that those voters have their votes count. The delegates can count, but she can't put the states in her pocket.

    Obama O-8!

    May 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. charles


    May 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. so ironic

    FL and MI were penalized for breaking the rules. Now you want them to be the states that will be THE deciding factor in the nomination?

    Those contests were unfairly contested!

    This wreaks of corruption!!

    May 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Jonathan

    If this goes to convention Obama loses. This is the best option for him. Also, I think it's important to note that if this were the general election, Obama would be losing by almost 200 votes by now because it is a winner take all system. Remember, the way the Democratic primary is run it helps someone like Obama because he can clip a large amount of votes that Clinton gets in the big states. He won't have this kind of fallback in the general election and when he loses Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania he will lose the election. Wake up Obamabots. It's kind of like the round-robin thing when you beat someone, that person beats someone else, and the person they beat beats you...who is really the best? The important thing here is who will beat McCain and the only person that can do that is Hillary, not Barack. Just because he may have more pledged delegates at the end of the day does not mean that he can beat McCain. This is why there are superdelegates, to do what is right for the party. Obama himself said he would accept what the party says as long as it is within the rules, and superdelegates deciding the nominee is well within the rules. I don't want to hear anymore talk about stealing the nomination from Obama.

    May 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. DJ

    Why do people always want to change the rules to suit them? Both states were aware of the rules, both states chose to break them. If voters in those states are "disenfranchised," then I recommend that they get new party leaders that will follow the rules and not screw it up for the voters in their state.

    May 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. Rebecca

    Wolf is an obvious Clinton supporter. He has been pressing hard for her without coming out and clearly saying it. His posts here clearly tell Wolf wants this race to go on and on so Hillary can possibly pull it out. Wolf, you are sad.

    May 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  14. A .J in Fla


    May 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. Nick - Arlington, VA

    YEs so you guys can get 3 more months of ratings as obama and clinton do a death march to a Florida primary in late August........are you insane? maybe its that little beard you keep ridiculously trimmed on your face.....or the fact that your on tv idk...10 hours a day...they will be seated on MAy 31st (hopefully)...MI should be split 50/50 (Obama wasnt on the ballot) and FL should have 50% divided like the primary vote and the other 50% divided down the middle...with only the popular vote counting in FL, if at all....but at the end of the day Obama will still be winning and Clinton will be moving the goal posts until Kingdom come.

    May 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. R.I.F.

    Once again Wolf shows his love for everything Clinton.

    Look idiot, The rules were set and all parties agreed to them before this race started. We cannot change the rules that everyone agreed to because we are trying to help someone out who is fighting a losing battle.

    How about this, let's get the NY Gaint and New England Patriots back on the field to play one more quarter of the Superbowl to decide the winner of the Superbowl that's already been decided until the rules of the NFL. I'm sure the Pats would love that.

    Report NEWS...not fariy tell scenarios to help your girlfriend out.

    May 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. Mark

    This is really a ridiculous suggestion. The party will not do this so close to the general election.

    May 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. silence do good

    YES! Let's include the people of ALL states. I know Obama thought he got away with denying the revote. But it is time for justice and fair play. Let 'em vote – see what they have to say.

    The people of this country are bigger than the cult. And we like to think for ourselves and not be called racist or be called foul names for not marching in lock step.

    Hang in there Hillary – Obama's chickens will come home to roost!

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

    This would only prolong the inevitable. While I have empathy for those in Michigan and Florida, we need to end this race - now.

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

    it would be changing the rules if somebody wins the nomination without achieving the 2025 to nominate.

    May 6, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  21. LT for Obama

    I say hold new elections and soon OR split the pledged delegates between the two candidates evenly.

    I watched last night as many said they did not go out in Florida and vote because they were told it would not count. You CANNOT disenfrancise those people who wanted to vote but were told they would not count if they did. They were just following the rules as one lady said.

    Play fair or don't play at all. Isn't that what we tell our children all the time? So as adults, why does this logic go out the window?

    May 6, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. EC

    Wolf, Are you out of your mind?! Yep, that would sure shore things up – Not!

    I can't believe you would even mention such an absurd idea... Did Hillary put you up to this? đŸ˜‰

    May 6, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. Cammi317

    I say go for won't make a bit of difference anyway. Obama is still going to win. After today the supers will weigh in, and he will reach the magic number. Next time if they want their votes to count, they should play by the rules.

    May 6, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Gregg Gallagher

    I would be much more receptive to Hillary (and Wolf's) lamenting for the fate of FL and MI voters, if they had done so prior to it becoming clear that Hillary was trailing....

    Hillary's position, although entirely self-serving, is quite understandable froma purely self-interest standpoint.

    What is not clear is why a theoretically "neutral" journalist (Wolf) continues to take such a strong pro-0Hillary stance on this – and other issues.

    Don't get me wrong, I think Wolf – like any other American – is entitled to his own personal political leanings. But PUH-LEASE – the notion that journalists can and should be neutral is absurd. I would much rather have journalists proclaim their leanings publicly so that viewers/readers can weight their observations accordingly.

    And don't get me started on George S. over at ABC.....

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

    is not only a supporter his working fr her.

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