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. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Yes, why not let Michigan and Florida have their say in determining the Democrat nominee and risk the losing the other 48 States in the general election that played by the rules and are more vital in the general election. So the idea of 2 verses 48 States makes no sense.

    May 6, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. Mel Springfield, Oregon

    This race is not ending soon. Neither side will back down. They're just making it easier for McCain to win in November.

    May 6, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. Amy from MIchigan

    My state's party officials broke the rules and unfortunately, it's we the voters who have lost out. I'm not upset with the National Democratic Party or the candidates who followed the rules, just our own ridiculous state leaders! As much as I would like my voice and choice heard (Obama), I do not think our delegates should be seated. We broke the rules and now we need to live with the consequences! The country is tired of hearing Michigan and Florida residents whine........

    May 6, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  4. Concerned Voter

    Not counting the votes for two states is the equivalent to communism. Hold the elections and make this right. It is deplorable that this situation is allowed to occur and even worse when Obama, a presidential candidate, support this course of action. So much for new politics. He worse than all of them.

    May 6, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. Jack

    If we were to change the rules, we might as well change the rules on all those who have broke the law. What are we telling the young voters who trust the system. They have been told to follow the rules from day one. If the party elders change the rules, there will be not respect for the Democratic party. Maybe that's what theyare trying to do. Hillary was a Republican at one time. Her view on the Gas tax suspension makes me question if she really is a democrat. She is siding with John McCain. She even thinks that John McCain would be a better president than Obama. And she wants to Obliterate Iran if they were to attack Ireal. Where is the dipomacy. This is not good.

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

    Wolf,
    Please try to discuss your biased views with at least a modicum of common sense.
    Obama has been thouroughly disadvantaged by the "vote" in Michigan and Florida. It is now completely impossible to get a free and fair vote in either state!
    The only way this issue can be resolved is if the superdelegates and Obama's own lead in pledged delegates, can cover the Michigan and Florida delegations on some reasonable basis reflecting Clinton's "wins" in those states. Obama would still be getting sc-wed but he would still be the winner!

    May 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. bruce patras new york ny

    wolf
    this is a fake news story placed besides real news articles .
    you are the one bringing these things up .yet you have no outrage
    at all the rules hat were broken .and all those voters will still be democrats come november .
    duh

    May 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. TKD

    Why should the party change its rules, when the rules were fair and clear to begin with? Only because Hillary Clinton is frantic to win, and doesn't care whether it takes changing the rules, cheating the rules, or flinging the rules off a cliff, to do it. Florida and Michigan have had ample time to fix their non-compliant primaries. They have been on notice for months. The rules should not be changed in the middle of the process.

    May 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Chris

    You have got to be kidding me. Are the democrats trying to elect John McCain? You can't leave the question of who the nominee is unanswered for the entire summer and expect to win. Strategy plans need to be drawn up, staff hired, the loosers supporters need time to come down a bit and stop making voodoo dolls of the winner, etc. THIS CAN'T HAPPEN IN 2 MONTHS IF YOU EXPECT TO BEAT MCCAIN!!!!!!!!!! Why won't people get this idea through their thick skulls.

    May 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Patrice

    Gosh, Wolf
    It appears that you just won't be happy until your canidate gets a revote in FL and MI. To tell you the truth, it really isn't the fault of the voters. It's the politicians (in particular in FL) that can't ever seem to get it right. Maybe the voters should be looking for new leadership in those states.
    Thier party leaders broke the rules...PERIOD
    Move on already, just evenly seat the delegate3 in MI since Obama's name wasn't on the ballot and give a 53-47 split to Clinton and Obama for FL;with Hillary getting the larger portion in FL. Stop wasting people's time and money with this.

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

    "An effort to get the two states to hold a second round of primaries collapsed for a variety of reasons".

    Those reasons being the Obama camp did not want these states to hold new primaries. They know that Hillary would win by margins bigger than the first round of primaries.

    May 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. tidho

    We get it, you like Clinton.

    What about Poland?, lol. Maybe there should be a primary there too. Sure the pre-negotiated rules that everyone agreed to said US only, but I don't see any reason that 90% of the way through we can't toss those rules out the window and and some additional primaries.

    May 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Ready for Change

    For all of you who don't even know what the rules are:

    The rules called for Florida and Michigan to lose half their delegates, just like the Republican rules. Howard Dean decided to strip all of them instead, thereby breaking the rules or making up his own as he went along.

    The rules call for anyone campaigning, in person or on the airwaves, to be stripped of all their delegates, therefore Obama should lose all of his, as he broke the rules by running ads in Florida.

    So if you want to keep screaming rules, please at least bother to find out what the rules are.

    There is absolutely NO rule saying whoever is ahead in pledged delegates gets the nomination, that would be another changing of the rules.

    May 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. NObama

    Here is the thing Obama-bots. He cannot win either. It's not whoever is in the lead, it's who ever achieves 2,025 delegates. It is impossible for either of them to do.

    Yes let them re-vote. If not let the super delegates decide for who is most electable in November... Which I believe is Hillary.

    May 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Bob (PA)

    New elections change the game and would not be fair...

    1.) Everyone had a chance to put their name on the Michigan and it's not Senator Clinton's fault that Obama didn't care enough to do it.

    2.) Both states did vote based on their election dates. Again, not Senator Clinton's fault that Obama was still a nobody at that point.

    It's 2000 all over again.

    Every vote MUST be counted for it to be valid US election. If we just decide which votes count and which ones do not then we are no longer a democracy.

    And if you revote then it's not the same. The results will be different. As would all the states if they revoted.

    Would every state now vote for Obama or would the trend continue for states to show their support for Senator Clinton. If you revote then Clinton could easily be ahead.

    Fight it out at the convention and get over it.

    May 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. RON

    I live in FLORIDA and i didnt vote b/c i knew our votes did not count and i am an OBAMA supporter... I dont think we shoud have to revote... the dnc of fl and mi broke the rules... simple as that they should not count... if they need to be than,.,,, they need to be split evenly 50/50

    May 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. steveg

    Blitzer is looking more and more like a total political hack and a tool every day. Each time he tries to torture logic and math to justify somehow awarding Hillary the nomination, it makes CNN look as biased as FOX news.

    It's becoming more and more transparent, not that it was ever concealed very well.

    I used to think those to dubbed CNN the "Clinton New Network" were exaggerating to try to push a far right agenda, but, it does seem that a lot of the talking heads are bending over backward to talk up Hillary, and not calling her out on much of anything.

    May 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. david, Omaha - NE

    Bravo Wolf,
    You want riots, right!!
    Poor Hillary, she will be bend the rules to be the advocate of fairness.
    And YOU, media, you lovin'it.
    But it AIN"T RIGHT.
    Rules are Rules. Respect them and we will have no FIGHTS....

    May 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Chut Pata

    Billary would only accept results where Obama's name wasn't on the ballot or where he has not contested. However it is an excellent idea.

    Obama has to accept the results where his name was on ballot and and where he was given a fair chance to contest, because even if he loses with a slight margin overall, he can still get the required delegates.

    Billary should be happy on a consolation win like PA and IN, though I doubt it!

    May 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. Tim

    You see the sign that says speed limit 65 MPH. You decide that doesn’t apply to you and you want to get home earlier, so you drive 80 MPH. You get pulled over for speeding. You tell the State Trooper that you knew that the speed limit was 65, but you decided that those rules don't apply to you. You are now appalled that the State Trooper now has the gall to give you a ticket just because everyone else obeyed the rules. You go on to say that the State officials were wrong in the first place to dictate how fast you can drive. And finally you question the State Trooper’s ability to enforce such an unfair law and demand that he tear up the ticket and apologize for hindering your driving right. Sounds silly? So does allowing FL and MI to do a revote.

    May 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. skoolzdateacha

    HOW ABOUT THIS, THE ONLY FAIR THING WOULD BE WHEN IT IS OVER JUNE 3RD OR WHATEVER SEAT THE DELEGATES FROM BOTH STATES ACCORDING TO POPULAR VOTE PERCENTAGE, HOW ELSE WOULD IT BE FAIR OR MAKE SENSE. I LIKE HILLARY BUT I AM SO UPSET THAT SHE WOULD INSIST ON TRYING TO FIGURE A WAY TO STEAL AN ELECTION. ASK HER HUSBANDS VICE PRESIDENT-STEALING ELECTIONS IS WHAT REPUBLICANS DO!

    May 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. Addis - observer

    Here comes Blitzer again for his favourite candidate Hillary R. Clinton. U know why Michigan & Florida are not in play.

    Blitzer, i thought u are like an anchor... i mean ... we expect a lot from u guys... this is really not fair... I Read all ur articles... they r always to incline / influence people that Hillary should b the winner. But that is not really true. U know that better than anyone there. Please don't do that... U will b ashamed of what u did after a while.

    Much respect,

    Just an observer..

    May 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. AMBER

    WHAT MATTERS IS THE PEOPLE OF FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN. HAS THE DNC BECOME SO INFLEXIBLE THAT IT WILL NOT LISTEN TO ITS MEMBERS? BY OBAMA BLOCKING THE WILL OF MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA USING THE RULES EXCUSE , HE WILL HAVE ACHIEVED IN HANDING FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN TO THE REPUBLICANS IN A SILVER PLATER. WE ARE ALL DEMOCRATS AND WE DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO SILENCE MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA. LET THEM SPEAK!!! IS OBAMA SO AFRAID THAT HE IS GOING TO LOOSE (AGAIN) IN FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN???
    "WE THE PEOPLE DEMAND THAT FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN'S VOICES BE HEARD!!!!!!

    May 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. Terry Frakes

    This is the fairest thing they could do. It would really determine who is electable in november. Its not fair to the candidates, but most of all its not fair to the voters. Obama has drug his feet on this, and its not very professional on his part. He has no right to claim victory on anything unless these two states are able to vote.

    May 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. Bubba

    Surely Wolf doesn't get paid for his stupid ideas!

    May 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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