WASHINGTON (AP) – Officials in Michigan and Florida are showing renewed interest in holding repeat presidential nominating contests so that their votes will count in the epic Democratic campaign.
The Michigan governor, along with top officials in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign and Florida’s state party chair, is now saying they would consider holding a sort of do-over contest by June. That’s a change from their previous insistence that the primaries their states held in January should determine how the their delegates are allocated.
Clinton won both contests, but the results were meaningless because the elections violated national party rules.
The Democratic National Committee stripped both states of all delegates for holding the primaries too early, and all Democratic candidates – including Clinton and rival Barack Obama – agreed not to campaign in either state. Obama’s name wasn’t even on the Michigan ballot.
Florida and Michigan moved up their dates to protest the party’s decision to allow Iowa and New Hampshire to go first, followed by South Carolina and Nevada, giving them a disproportionate influence on the presidential selection process.
But no one predicted the race would still be very close at this point in the year.
Ironically, Michigan and Florida could have held crucial primaries had they stayed with their traditional later dates. They may yet do so if they decide to hold new contests as Clinton and Obama compete to the wire.
Clinton has been insisting that the desires of more than 2 million people who cast Democratic ballots in the two states should be reflected at the convention, which would help her catch up to Obama in the race for delegates. Obama has said he wants the delegates from the two critical swing states participate, too, but not if Clinton is rewarded for victories in boycotted primaries.
Now the Clinton campaign has begun expressing openness to a do-over. “Let’s let all of the voters go again if they are willing to do it,” Clinton adviser Terry McAuliffe said Tuesday night on MSNBC.