Thank you for visiting our website

Featuring breaking political news and commentary on local, state, and national issues.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Who Pays for Do-Over Primaries?

George Wenschhof

Howard Dean, the embattled chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) remains steadfast in saying the DNC will not pay for any portion of do-over primaries in Florida and Michigan.

The main reason he leaves out in this discussion is the DNC does not have the cash on hand to pay for do-over primaries.

Mr. Dean points out that it was Michigan and Florida who broke the rules and moved their primaries to an earlier date. This resulted in the DNC rules committee sanctioning these states by voiding their delegates. The candidates for President also all agreed not to campaign in either state and Hillary Clinton was the only contending candidate to appear on the ballot in Michigan.

At the time of this action by the DNC, I wrote about how silly this action was for in effect, it would result in disenfranchising the voters in two states the democrats must win in November.

It would have made more sense to have resolved these issues way before 2008 and if punitive action was needed, it should never have resulted in disenfranchising the voter who had nothing to do with the scheduling of the primary.

It has been estimated it will cost as much as 20 million in Florida and 10 million in Michigan to hold primaries a second time. Several ideas have been floated including mail in voting which would be less expensive and a caucus in Michigan instead of the traditional primary.

Of course, Senator Clinton who stayed on the ballot and won Michigan is opposed to holding a caucus in Michigan:

The fact remains that these primaries will have to be redone with the race for the needed 2025 delegates to win the nomination so close. Even with votes and their delegates counting from these states, there is still a strong likelihood of a broker-ed convention this August in Denver.
There are still 343 of the 795 superdelegates who have not committed to a candidate and it is now very likely they will be the determining votes as to who receives the democratic nomination. These remaining superdelegates may hold off on their commitment to a candidate until the convention.
Democratic voters are upset, to put it mildly, that superdelegates who were not elected by them could determine the nominee for the Party.
What is shaping up as an argument at the convention in August by the Clinton campaign is they won the popular vote and the big states. The Obama campaign will say they won the most states and delegates. However, Senator Obama is not likely to win by more than 100 delegates. The argument will be that many of those delegates came from states who held caucuses where less than 10% of the registered voters took part.
This is most likely be the tact taken by both campaigns at the convention unless some devastating news comes out in regard to one of the candidates prior to the end of the primary campaign.
In the meantime, let's hope the Democrats reach an agreement to hold the Michigan and Florida do-over primaries in early June. The two candidates, the DNC, along with the Michigan and Florida state democratic parties should all agree to chip in to pay for this cost.
Let's hope this is resolved soon.

No comments: