Major shift in Democratic race

This just in via my Newsmax.com newsletter:

WASHINGTON — Officials in Michigan and Florida are showing renewed interest in holding repeat presidential nominating contests so that their votes will count.

The governors of both states are now saying they would consider holding a sort of do-over contest by June. So are top officials in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign.

That’s a change from their previous insistence that the primaries their states held in January should determine how the state’s delegates are allocated.

Clinton won both contests, but the results were meaningless since the elections were in violation of party rules. The Democratic National Committee stripped both states of their delegates for holding the primaries too early. The candidates agreed not to campaign in either state.

Very interesting, for Clinton, especially in light of the fresh results from Ohio and Texas …

Comments

  1. #1 RickD
    March 6, 2008

    By all means, Michigan and Florida should work out something with the DNC to hold legitimate primaries so their voices can be heard at the convention. I cannot see a legitimate argument against this possibility.

  2. #2 Matt Penfold
    March 6, 2008

    Greg,

    One thing puzzles me. Are these primaries run by the state or the parties ? Only it strikes me that if they are formal elections run by the state then why does a political party get to say they are not valid ? And if they are run for the party, why does the state get involved in an internal party decision ?

  3. #3 MRW
    March 6, 2008

    Matt – The party has the legal right to set the manner in which it choses its own nominees, including dates, format (primary, caucus, convention…), who gets to vote (party members only, party members and independents, anyone…), how much weight to give to each state, the formula for distributing a state’s delegates, or even whether to have a primary. In practice, the Democrats and Republicans allow considerable leeway. Two of the few requirements are fairly loose restrictions on the primary/caucus date and (for the Democrats but not the Republicans) that the delegates be rewarded somewhat proportionately to the state’s popular vote (the Republicans allow winner-take-all).

    I don’t think much of giving Iowa and New Hampshire such a prominent place, but it’s the parties’ right to do so.

  4. #4 Scott Belyea
    March 6, 2008

    Can’t help but wonder if the Democrats will manage to do what seemed inconceivable not long ago … and blow the election.

  5. #5 PalMD
    March 6, 2008

    BTW, Newsmax is the publisher of the Blaylock Wellness Report, a pseudoscientific, anti vaccine, etc. screed.
    I don’t know if the rest of the organization is a wacko.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    March 6, 2008

    PalMD: I know about that, but the newsletter I get is straight reprint of AP. So it is AP slightly faster than other outlets (in my email in box). It is of somewhat marginal use, as I find only a small percentage of these newsletters have content I’m interested in.

    Scott: I never thought of it as inconceivable. I’m been in awe of how far from blowing it they’ve seemed, but never believed it.

    Matt: That is fairly complicated. First, the Democratic party is actually several tends of thousands of organizations but with three tiers mattering as far as rule making (for the most part). Congressional district (so over 500 of those), state, and national. They interact but they are not the same organization.

    The national nominating process is managed by the national party but carried out by local units, but voting and election rules may apply from the state level (though often not).

    There is no federal election process in the US, though there are federal laws. Mainly, elections are run by the states (typically the department of state)

    Having said that, I thought that the party caucus and primary activities were relatively unregulated. But it could be that this is just true in Minnesota, and not in Florida or Michigan.

    Anybody know? Jim, are you reading this? Mike?

  7. #7 Matt Penfold
    March 6, 2008

    MRW,

    I think what I am trying to ask is why do the parties not just have internal elections to decide who gets to stand as that parties candidate for president. For example in the UK each party has a contituancy organisation whose members get to decide who stands as a candidate at elections. They have to organise and fund the cost of that themselves and it is purely an internal matter (except in as much as the processes must abide by anti-discrimination laws). THis seems to be the process is nearly every other democratic country apart from the US. Why is the process so different in the US ?

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    March 6, 2008

    Matt: I think that is what we do.

  9. #9 the real cmf
    March 6, 2008

    “governors of both states are now saying they would consider holding a sort of do-over contest by June”

    It’s interesting that the Republicans have gotten behind Hillary.

  10. #10 Brian
    March 8, 2008

    Uh, what’s that you say, cmf?

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    March 8, 2008

    The R’s have been wanting to go up against Hillary since her entry into the race was first considered. Meaning, when she announced her candidacy for Senate. Or earlier.

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