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. Seth (Jacksonville, FL)

    Voters in Florida and Michigan can still vote for President this fall...but rules were broken and the punishment for doing so was the forfeiture of delegates in the primaries. Both Clinton and Obama knew this going in, and there wasn't a peep out of either about fairness or disenfranchisement of voters until HIllary realized she was getting her tail kicked and needed a way to get some extra votes.

    Letting the votes count now is like grounding your kid for sneaking out at night and then, when he complains that it's not fair to ground him for breaking the rules, you take away the grounding and say "You're right, it's not fair to punish for rules we set that you clearly broke. Let's work this out and let you have your way instead."

    This is just a desperate tactic. Florida and Michigan voters aren't just going to stay home in November – they are going to go to the ballot box and fill in the bubble next to DEMOCRAT.

    May 6, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. RB

    Stop dreaming, Wolf. MI/FL can be seated, but WILL NOT determine the nominee. What would that say to those of us who followed the rules? HRC agreed to the rules. Dead issue. If we lose the general election because those two states go red, so be it! BUT, if they get to vote again, we all get to vote again!

    May 6, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. JP SW

    Do you live with your head buried in the sand? Of course both names will, be added to the Aug primary in Michigan...or did the Obamaites not know there was one?

    And Michigan is plenty mad at Dean and Pelosi and the DNC. And the Obama man for doing everything possible to block their vote because he's done if MI and Florida gets in the act.

    BUT, remember the DNC has to have those states so let there be a FAIR vote.

    What do ya say Obamites? How about a fair up front vote. Have you turned green yet?

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

    Uh, the states already decided, get over it CNN, Clinton is done and needs a fork up her you know what.

    May 6, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Scott

    Who gives a crap....those idiots bucked the system and lost. People from Florida and Michigan should be blaming their local DNC not the national committee.

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

    Stop dreaming, Wolf. MI/FL can be seated, but WILL NOT determine the nominee. What would that say to those of us who followed the rules? HRC agreed to the rules. Dead issue. If we lose the general election because those two states go red, so be it! BUT, if they get to vote again, we all get to vote again!

    May 6, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. Dean-Mississippi

    "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." ????????

    I am pondering why the entertainment value of the convention should be a deciding factor? I guess it would generate a lot of revenue and viewership for the media outlets. Hmmmmm.

    As stated in the other posts, there are consequences to actions that violate agreed upon regulations.

    May 6, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. jo

    OK kids...
    You break the rules and cry and whine hard and long enough...
    So you are rewarded and get what you want!
    Sounds like a great lesson for our children!
    Grow up!

    May 6, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. DOUBTING THOMAS

    MR. BLITZER, I'M SURPRISED THAT A RESPECTED JOURNALIST LIKE YOURSELF, WOULD JUMP ON THE CLINTON BANDWAGON. THE CLINTONS HAVE SOILED THEIR IMAGE, YOU'RE RISKING TAINTING YOURS.

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

    Here's a better idea: figure out an appropriate punishment for the legislators and party wonks who broke the rules and count the votes as they were cast by the voters who did nothing wrong!

    It isn't their fault and Chairman Dean is having a fit to end this race before all of the states have voted anyhow, so why didn't he just let all of the states move their dates forward?

    As for Michigan, Sen. Obama did not have to remove his name from the ballot. That was not required and it was his poor judgment. It was pure grandstanding on his part.

    Splitting the votes 50/50 is the same as not counting them so that's just ignorant. Count the votes. It's the democratic thing to do.

    May 6, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Antonio, Champaign, IL

    Why not let Florida & Michigan count? These voters deserve a right to be heard, and should not be punished because their state leaders decided to move up the date. It was not wise for them to go against party rules, but it also was not wise for the DNC to punish these states. And of course, all you Obama fanatics don't want these states to count because you are afraid this election may tip in Clinton's favor. And of course, you Clinton backers want these states to count, probably without even having a re-vote. I say seat Florida's votes now because they were both on the ballot, and this thing does not need to happen in the middle of the convention, and allow Michigan to revote in August.

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

    I'm from Florida and even I think it would be wrong to hold new primaries. We broke the rules, we made the bed and now we must lie in it. Simple as that.

    May 6, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. Jan, Knoxville, TN

    Wolf, I believe you are a closet Hillary supporter. I noticed last night you started the Wright stuff again. This race needs to be decided today or at least no later than June 3. Florida and Michigan broke the rules and I think it is too late for another primary. I suggest they just seat them at the convention and that is all. Anything else would not be fair to my candidate OBAMA.

    May 6, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. Michigan Male

    As a Michigan citizen, I can attest to the fact that the governor and legislature said that the DNC was not going to not seat the Michigan delegation. This was before the vote to move the election was taken. Our elected officials made our bed and we must lie in it. But we will not forget in November who invalidated our votes.
    Impeach Granholm and reelect no incumbents!

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

    I can't believe the Michigan/Florida issue is still being discussed. The rules were broken end of story. Why does CNN continue to give this story legs?

    May 6, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. Kareem from Hampton VA

    This is utterly hilarious I have YET to see a Mi. or Fl voter on this ticker complain about their state not counting! Hillary Clinton made this a campaign issue..this is clearly a legislative issue for the respective states and thats where it should remain! No ONE and I mean NO ONW cared about Mi and Fl until the Clinton Entitlement Bus broke down on Super Tuesday!

    May 6, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. Gary

    Wolf, are You being paid by Clintons campaign ? or is this plot just to 'buy' some news for the network...either way CNN should not lay any further claim that they are the 'most trustworthy' news network...its simply not true..CNN is either a wolf in sheeps clothing ( pardon the pun or a greed sucking business entity)

    May 6, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. Jean from Florida

    I have an idea...Why don't MI and FL hold their elections in NOV like the rest of us that way their votes get to count......Enough talk about the MI & FL primaries – it will not happen...What bothers me is that the people in FLorida and Michigan doesn't seem concerened about their votes not counting – but the media does...

    May 6, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. jamal

    Wolf Blitzer has ben a strong Clinton surrogate and happens to be a journalist. He needs to embrace ideas of diversity and the fact that a person of color can be a president. There is no need to go back to Florida and Michigan. That chapter was closed long time ago.

    May 6, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. Jonathan Lawoyin

    Wolf, you cant fool me, behind that thin vail on your face l can see through your deep desire to have Hillary as the nominee regardless of whichever way it comes. You are shifting the pole again, a rule is a rule. We in Africa normally give some credit to America for been a nation under the of rule of law. Your suggestion has a name, and it is called ' Mugabeism'. Enough of this trash, let the real winner, whoever wins in a fair way have it.

    May 6, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. Stephen David

    Wolf... Geez, I'm so disappointed in you. You've become the Geraldo Rivera of network news. CNN is truly beginning to rival Fox News.

    Best political team on television? Maybe so... but look at the competition; it's nothing to brag about.

    May 6, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. Get Real

    Lets be honest, the party leadership in each of the states broke the rules and NOT the voters. Why are we punishing the voters? This silences an individual’s preference for their party's presidential nomination. You can speak all you want of “they” broke the rules, but "they" are not the voters.

    May 6, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. kingsley

    and wolf you need to stop putting gas in the fire. we no you are pro hillary and anti obama. its no secret so your little post and blogs are favoritized and discriminating

    May 6, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. Dan in NY

    Why does every Wolf Blitzer column have the suggested effect of lengthening and dramatizing the primary? Do we think that maybe Wolf has an interest here?

    May 6, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. Mike From Merritt Island Fla. A independent voter

    Yes, Why should we penalize the voters. They went to the polls when they were ask to. This year Americans are voting more then they have in years. So we dirty the idea that ones vote does not count in this country. Its not about which candidate wants the votes to count. It is that all American voices should be heard. The votes should count as they were voted in the original primary in Mich. And Florida.

    May 6, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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