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. MD

    They broke the rules. It's just that simple. Hillary is trying to steal this election. Here's a solemn promise from a young Democrat and I hope you are reading this, Howard Dean, since you are the DNC head:

    You must take the lead and force Hillary to bow out of this election because she cannot win it without stealing the election. If she wins, you will alienate a majority of the youthful Democratic party. Who do you think is going to carry on the liberal mindset?

    Fear the youth – we have energy and plenty of time. We will forge a new political party that isn't corrupted.

    May 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. GL

    So RULES don't matter? For Christ's sake CNN how obviously biased are you going to continue to be? Every story has a photo of Clinton, even her sign in front of Obama's on the one, and now dregging up this garbage... Don't even get me started on Wolf's daily stump speech for Clinton he masquerades as a news story. Absolutely shameful.

    They broke the rules that everyone already agreed too. There are no do overs. Move on.

    May 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Alex

    Its simply too late. The last thing this party needs is to have this heated contest extend past June and potentially divide the democrats even further so close to the general election. It’s already gone on long enough as it is. Hillary needs to stop stoking the last ruminants of her campaign and risk hurting the party. She simply needs to look beyond herself for a brief moment and step down.

    May 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. Dyinglikeflies, NYC

    Real smart to disenfranchise Florida and Michigan, two swing states which can determine the election against McCain. Would it have been that hard to follow the Republican solution of seating only half the delegates as a penalty?

    The Democratic party is a circular firing squad.

    May 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  5. SHIRLEY

    Sounds reasonable to me. A great idea.

    May 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. JC

    If DNC had taken FL and MI out, they should have reduced the number of delegates required for nomination.

    Why is DNC still pondering at 2,025 delegates?
    If 2,025 is a wrong number, correct it now.

    May 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. shawn

    You may be the dumbest excuse for a journalist, I have ever encountered. Again stirring up controversy where it doesn't exist. For crying out loud. Go host a game show and let real journalists report the news. The rules were stated, and you heard them as everyone did.

    May 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. HP Boston

    YES, yes a thousand times yes.
    Let's make this fair, all must be part of this primary.
    We need to balance the caucus fiasco's and let two important states VOTE!
    If you call this early with less than all the votes you lose immediately.
    The Obama people do not want to be fair, they never do.

    May 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. Simply Crazy!!!

    To not have a democratic nominee until August is totally ridiculous! Who would ever agree to something like this? That would mean a sure victory for McCain.
    Keep in mind, the general election is in November and personally, I don't think two months will be enough time to get the democratic party together.

    Sometimes I often wonder do news outlets try to come up with the most outrage topics to get more viewers and/or bloggers!

    May 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. Alice in Florida

    If Hillary is not the Democratic nominee, I will vote for McCain in November, and NOTHING will change my mind – not 100 years in Iraq, not the overthrow of Roe vs. Wade – NOTHING. The most important issue for me personally is that Barack Obama stole my vote. If that's "Change," I want no part of it. Maybe Barack stole my Florida vote for Hillary, but he will not steal my November vote for McCain.

    May 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. What Really Happend

    NO!

    May 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. Candi California

    Dear Mr. Blitzer;

    WE are sorry you and the best are running out of manufactured news. Stop trying to stretch the limits of your alice and wounderland world. You have been able to inpact this presidential election negatively( along with the rest of the media). You need to just pack it in and start reporting the news. I realize that is a difficult concept. However if you can't do that then dress all your pundits in clown outfits and have them discuss how the media screwed this one up.

    May 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. Mike

    Hillary Clinton signed a pledge not to participate in Michigan and then she broke the pledge by not taking her name off the ballot, as Obama and Edwards did. That makes her a liar and now she wants to benefit from her deception. This isn't about disenfranchising voters. This is about Hillary trying to win by breaking the rules. Hillary – when you say that more people have voted for you in the primaries because you are counting the votes in Michigan, you anger and alienate every single Obama supporter. Anyone who thinks that Michigan should count or that Michigan should re-vote or that Hillary leads in the popular vote is either delusional or being purposely obtuse. Before she started this Michigan nonsense I might have voted for her if she won the nomination, but now I will absolutely not ever vote for Hillary Clinton because of her blatant lies.

    May 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. Lisa

    This is so disrespecful for the Obama supporters to say they do not want to include Florida and Michigan votes. Talk about will do and say anything to win. They are like crooks to me. If they are so confident that Obama is going to win why not let everyone votes count. His supporters remains me of the Superior Court in 2000 when they didn't allow Florida votes to count then. They can do and say whatever they want but Hillary will not drop out until those votes are counted and I don't blame her.

    May 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Hilda

    Wolf, can you imagine this crap going on for 2-3 more months, are you kidding me. This thing is ugly enough already, this can only help John McCain, can you imagine more time for this joke to go on. Wolf are you a republican, trying to find a cute way to destroy the democrats. We know for sure you don't like Obama,that is Obvious as for Hillary, not sure on that one yet.

    May 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. nancy

    NO WAY!

    May 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Terry Williams

    It wouldn't cost anything. Its all electronic on those states with touch screens. Just add two buttons for hillary/obama and a bunch of buttons depending on country, for the delegates. No one pays. Just gotta get people to officiate the voting process, which is already going on for the state and local elections.

    May 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. Independent

    Wolf – think about "how exciting" it would be if on the second day of the convention it all came down to Florida? Have you lost your mind?!

    No one with any sense wants this to go to the convention, because they know the democrats will LOSE in November if it does!!

    Does Wolf want the democrats to lose?

    May 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. leighg1

    Too bad that Obama does not want to engage in a negative campaign. He could have shown the Hillary Bosnia lie footage over and ever again as she did to him on his "bitter" comments. If he did, she would be crushed a long time ago. He did not even mention it unless when asked. I am sure the Republicans would if they need to.

    May 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. Joyce in Florida

    Also, for some of you bloggers regarding our primary date being moved up to January 29th, it was our REPUBLICAN legislature that did this move; not the DEMOCRATS. Get it straight in your heads once and for all. Our votes should be counted and awarded from our January 29th primary. I am sure if you lived here, this would be your sentiment as well. So stop bashing the Democrats already. It wasn't our fault. GO HILLARY 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. Babu

    That's a great idea! We should some how include the voters of Michigan and Florida. Only Obama is afraid of a democratic process.

    May 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Steve

    How can anyone argue that the folks in those states don't have a right to be heard because of a few "rules" that were made earlier by a few people. That's ridiculous and not fair to the people of those states. Without their votes counting, it will come back to sting the Democtrats in November. That much is a guarantee. Democrats need to come to their senses regarding this issue.

    May 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. David

    Yes, yes, yes, yes! It will silence the Hillary supporters once and for all AND Barack will reach the needed number of delegates.

    I say "Go for it!"

    May 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. it's all politics

    what happened to the democratic position from 2000? I thought americans believed that all votes should count. it is ludicrous that fl and mi are not being counted.

    folks who are saying these are the rules are just being political. they were probably not saying that in 2000. the rule that said the punishment to fl and mi should be that their votes are not counted is what needs to be changed. in america, the punishment is supposed to fit the crime. if you are saying the rules are the rules, does that mean you think it makes any difference which state votes first? that's the 'rules are rules' position, and it is dumb. i know i am teaching my children to think for themselves, and apply the golden rule, not that "rules are made to be broken."

    if obama had won fl, he would be giving pretty speeches about having every vote count, and so would all of his supporters, especially that moron keith olberman

    May 6, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. Sam in MN

    Nope. Counting Michigan or Florida in any way is a slap in the face to the 48 states that followed the rules.

    The more this is discussed, the more the people in the other 48 states get soured on it.

    If Michigan or Florida end up counting in any way, shape, or form, I'll vote for John McCain, and so will many others here.

    May 6, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
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