Friday, March 7, 2008

The DNC's options for MI and FL

When Florida and Michigan said they were going to hold there primaries before February 5th the DNC said they would be punished by striping them of their state delegates and super delegates. Both states turned their noses up at the DNC and held them anyway. Now it is March and the earliest the Democrats could have a nominee is late April. MI and FL are begging for their delegates back. The DNC has several options but none seems to make either camp happy.

Clinton won both the MI and FL primaries but Obama's name did not even appear on the ballot in MI and the candidates had agreed to not campaign in FL. The DNC could just seat the delegates as the results are now, an option the Obama camp obviously does not favor. This also puts the Party in the position of looking weak. States would not be afraid of reprisal and could start holding primaries before Christmas 2012. They could always hold new primaries. The estimated cost of doing so could be in the tens of millions of dollars. Florida has said that would hold a new primary but the DNC would have to ante up the $18 million to do so. With the cost of launching a national campaign on the horizon, the DNC could not afford to spend $18 million on new primaries. There is the option of holding caucuses. The Clinton camp has said they would not participate in caucuses. And of course the DNC could just stick to their guns and punish the states for breaking Party rules. That would upset two very pivotal states come November.

Ultimately this Democratic in-fighting can only help the Republicans. As the Republican Party comes together to build a strategy to win the general, the Democrats will still be figuring out their nominee. No option makes everyone happy so the Democrats are going to have unhappy voters on their hands.

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