May 6th, 2008
03:31 PM ET
15 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. mimi de la cruz for OBAMA









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

    Why Not

    There is No Winner and we need one.

    Florida and MI must be counted. Otherwise, how do you determine the winner.

    No Delegate Count Met, No Winner.

    May 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Cindy in California

    Everyone agreed to the rules, why are we accomodating those who chose to make their own rules?

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

    I see a lot of Obama supporters post here!

    No wonder you are afraid of MI and FL counting!!! It'd be bye bye Barack!

    May 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. Stacy Clarks

    then we will only have 2 months to campaign in the general

    unless you want teh democrats to lose, then this is a DUMB idea!!!

    If a crimial broke the law, and as punishment is sent to jail, will you then release him because he decided to change the rules mid-way?!?! NO!!

    DEMOCRATS IN 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. Sal in Phoenix

    Anyway, didn't the Republican run officials in the state of Florida change the primary date?..Why should the Democrats suffer for what the Republicans did?

    May 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Michigan voter

    Our fabulous Governor thought it would make us more important to go against the rules and move up the primary. Why should we be rewarded for that? The Michigan voters need to hold Gov. Granholm responsible for this mess and make her stand up and apologize for not following the rules. We want our children to grow up and understand there are consequences for doing wrong...this is a good lesson! It's not Hillary or Obama that screwed this up...if anything I respect Obama for keeping his name off the ballot, he followed the rules.

    I hope Jenny learned something from all of this!!!

    May 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. Tim in NC

    Absolutely not and for one, single reason: Accountability

    The state leaders of the Democratic parties in those two states need to be held accounatble for their actions. They knew the rules for the primaries, they agreed to them, and then they violated them. Their selfish, ego-driven decisions have cost both the party and this nation the voices of those voters, and possibly done irreparable damage to the people's faith in the electoral system.

    The voters of those two states should not be mad at candidates or the National DNC, they should hold their local leaders responsible and act accordingly.

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

    Here we go again just to keep this going for Dems CNN throws out another stupid idea. CNN you are suppose to be neutral what a shame.

    May 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. DD, New York

    Absolutely DO NOT re-do the voting in Michigan and Florida!!!!! Their votes should stand as they currently exist, but only have half of them seated at the convention. For example, if "Candidate X" won Michigan, only have half those Michigan delegates seated at the convention. Similarly, if "Candidate Y" won Florida, only have half of the Florida delegates seated at the convention. To avoid future "Michigan/Florida" scenarios, instead of penalizing those states' citizens' votes, impose heavy sanctions and fines on those states' officials for moving up a primary against party rules. Hitting the offenders in their "wallets and pocketbooks" are surefire ways of preventing future fiascos such as this one. (What's wrong with Florida anyway, don't they always mess up in election time or always have some sort of voting contraversey going on???)

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

    CNN DOWN!!


    May 6, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. Idiot Savant

    Agreed that August is way too late. I think one will find after all the legitimate votes are counted, that MI and FL won't have made a difference, even without giving the "Uncommitted" votes to Obama in MI.

    May 6, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. Frank

    Way to keep it churning Wolf. What will you guys dream up next in order to keep this thing a horse race.

    May 6, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Dan

    Wolf I was a big support of yours until this election and now after seeing you trying to plant this idea on of all days one of the "game changing" moments in the election I'm through with thinking you are an impartial, fair and true blue person because you are not....said...sellout...

    May 6, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Karey

    BTW....Portland is poised to have an awesome guy become our first Gay mayor! Might be worth a story...

    May 6, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. Greg Fensterman

    No, let's wait till november and have it the day before the general election. On no wait Wolfe, let's just combine it with the general election and people can vote for McCain or Clinton or Obama.

    No wait....

    Any more brilliant ideas Wolfe?

    Only a Republican could come up with a plan like that.

    May 6, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  17. Steve from California

    Florida deciding the nomination in August.. That would be fun. This has been one of the most interesting political battles we've ever seen. We've seen a crazy preacher, sniper fire in Bosnia, a former president putting his foot in his mouth, a candidate's wife putting her foot in her mouth, guns, elitists, racists, telling lies, telling the truth and women Indy Car drivers just to name a few of the wacky things in this campaign. It's been too much fun for it to end anytime soon. On to the convention!

    May 6, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. Ken


    That has to be the most inane ... and self-serving ... comment on this race that I have heard to date. CNN and Wolf Blitzer should be ashamed that they would put such an absurd headline on the front page of their Politics section on the web site.

    This ridiculous proposal would cause irreparable harm to the party, by pitting a divisive issue that late in the process, with no time to heal.

    Irresponsible candidates. Irresponsible anchors. Try reporting the news instead of becoming it.

    May 6, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. gina

    Actually, it's near impossible for BO to pull out the number of delegates he needs to get the nomination too! AND it wasn't the FL and MI voters that broke the rules.

    May 6, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. Demi T. in CA

    This doesn't sound exciting to me, Mr. Blitzer, it sounds horrible.

    August is WAY too long to wait. We should be focusing on McCain NOW, but instead it looks like the Dems will be slugging it out till June. I know Howard Dean keeps saying it is good for the party, but we've got to wrap this up if we want to take back the white house in November. McCain's been getting an easy ride, especially with his willingness to continue W's disastrous foreign and economic policies.

    May 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. A. Harrison in Georgia

    Better late than never.

    May 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Dianne

    Who does this benefit?

    CNN? DNC? Obama? Clinton?

    CNN – They get to make news instead of reporting it.

    DNC – they cannot turn around from a divisive campaign and have only 2 months to wrap up the GE.

    OBAMA- He is already winning and do not need this.

    CLINTON- She already lost and it is a non-issue.

    Who needs this?


    May 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Tony

    HRC the FRAUD will never go for two more large states dumping her down the tubes !

    HRC says Florida and Michigan DO NOT COUNT.

    HRC is a FRAUD

    May 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. Ed

    Depends on whom you ask. Obviously the Obama adorers want nothing to do with this because, um, it would actually be a fair and equitable resolution to this standoff.

    May 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. J

    "and b) make sure Florida and Michigan voters are not disenfranchised?"

    This implies that the voters in these two states were disenfranchised by the DNC as opposed to themselves and their party leaders.

    May 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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