Clinton Wins Michigan

by: Chris Bowers

Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 17:20


Smart move by Clinton here:

Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama, John Edwards, Joe Biden and Bill Richardson are withdrawing from Michigan's Jan. 15 primary ballot, dealing a blow to this state's hopes of having Michigan's issues heard in both sides of the 2008 race.

Obama, Edwards and Richardson asked the Michigan Secretary of State to take their names off the ballot, and Biden's campaign said today he would do the same. They are pulling out because Michigan, like Florida, has violated national Democratic Party rules by moving up its primary date in a challenge to the traditional monopoly on early voting held by Iowa and New Hampshire.

New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has consistently held a comfortable lead among Democrats in Michigan polls, will stay on the state ballot, aides said.

"It's unnecessary" to remove her name from the ballot, spokesman Mo Elleithee said, because she has already signed a pledge not to campaign in Michigan or other states violating the national party's scheduling rules.

Unless the primary is moved back and / or something takes place to allow other names to appear on the ballot, Michigan is not a guaranteed victory for Hillary Clinton on January 15th. This is the sort of move that will allow her to recover at least some momentum from any losses she may incur in Iowa and New Hampshire the previous two weeks, thus helping her out heading into Nevada and, probably, South Carolina just four days later. As for potential blowback, I have a hard time seeing Iowa or New Hampshire residents getting angry at Clinton for staying on the ballot in Michigan. And, as far as the general election goes, now she won't have to deal with any potential blowback from withdrawing her name from the ballot in the primary.

Score another point for the Clinton campaign. Michigan Liberal has more.

Chris Bowers :: Clinton Wins Michigan

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I suppose (4.00 / 1)
It seems this will mean less than the 2004 Washington DC primary.  I don't see how it gets any news coverage.


New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

Except the 24/7's are dying to coronate (4.00 / 1)
Senator Clinton. The spin will probably be that the other candidates were too chicken to compete in a big state like Michigan. And lots of air time to the fabricated hit piece from Obama's trip to Detroit this summer. sigh.

If the Clinton gang gets hold of our Dem nomination, there will be consequences, both down-ticket, and regarding your average working person's long term faith in the Party and the process.

[ Parent ]
Numbers (0.00 / 0)
Michigan is a key swing state and has about 15 times the population of Washington, DC.  Rumor has it that Florida is a swing state too.

[ Parent ]
CHRIS I DIS-AGREE (4.00 / 5)
I think that this will hurt Clinton in IA

I WANT TO SEE CHANGES IN THE PRIMARY PROCESS, BUT THEIR WAS A PROCESS AND mICHIGAN HAD A CHANCE TO BE ONE OF THE EARLY STATES AND LOST. fLORIDA DIDN'T EVEN TRY.

If they can get away with this, then why can't California, Ohio AND Pennsylvania just unilaterally move their primaries  to January 8th.

Their needs to be some order and everybody agreed to the rules and had input when they were formed. If Michigan get's away with this then no rules will ever hold and other states should just ignore them.


Man, I hope this is snark (4.00 / 1)
I'll give her some blowback right here: the primary schedule leapfrogging has gone from totally out of hand to utterly and thoroughly and ridiculously absurd. Obama et al are doing the right thing by sticking together and at least trying to put an end to the farce.

[Disclaimer, I work for a vendor providing data to an Obama IE, I think all our candidates are great, yadda yadda.]


Sounds to me (0.00 / 0)
like Obama and Edwards are pretty much conceding the nomination. There is no evidence in the current polling that shows they can win without Michigan's delegates. Would a baseball team forgo an inning of play in the World Series?

What if it is a tight race and Obama or Edwards beat Clinton for the nomination by 100 delegates not counting Michigan?

Then Clinton wins with Michigan's 156 delegates by 56 delegates.

What a bonehead move by Obama and Edwards. It is like they are really conceding IMO.


[ Parent ]
You forgot one thing (4.00 / 1)
Michigan's delegates don't count.

Join us at the Missouri community blog Show Me Progress!

[ Parent ]
I don't think (4.00 / 1)
Michigan's have been taken away yet. And if they are they will sue the DNC just as Florida is doing. In addition both states can still submit a plan to hold a caucus or some other method of choosing a candidate after their actual primaries if they wish and their candidates will be intact according to the DNC.

Plus can you imagine the scene at the convention if it was a close count and one of the states being barred from participation was unable to count their delegates and therefore the candidate with the least number of actual 'all states' delegates would actually win? I smell a lawsuit there also.


[ Parent ]
not campaigning (0.00 / 0)
Those candidates had already decided not to campaign in Michigan, and in the states where there is no campaigning going on Hilary is maintaining the lead she gets from name recognition and national prominence.  By withdrawing their names from the ballot the other candidates make it a non-story and a non-election.

I don't think it will help them in Iowa or New Hampshire by much although some folks there might start asking why Hilary hasn't withdrawn from the ballot, but it will stop Michigan from even being a beauty pagent.

My job is not to represent Washington to you, but to represent you to Washington- Obama
Philly for Obama


if it were Feb, (0.00 / 0)
I might agree with this:

Hilary is maintaining the lead she gets from name recognition and national prominence.

but since then we've had numerous televised debates and forums, including the NAACP in Detroit. Don't Michiganders have television, print media and the internet like the rest of us?

In my state, the candidates only stop by for fundraisers. No difference between MI & MD in terms of direct candidate contact. So, what you're saying is that only the handful of early states matter, as the rest of us are just blinded by 'name rec,' completely oblivious to anything going on around us.


[ Parent ]
I doubt many will notice (4.00 / 1)
Dean's DC win is the best analogy.

I think this does underscore how Hillary is playing on a different level than everyone else.  The idea that there are two front runners has been debunked, there is Hillary and evryone else.  If anyone can beat her in Iowa, they become the challenger, if not.....


dumb move by second-tier candidates (4.00 / 1)
I believe it is extremely dumb for Biden and Richardson to cut a backroom deal with Obama & Edwards on this one.

Just imagine one scenario, if either of them two, does better than expected in IA and/or NH, if they finish 2nd place in MI after Hillary without Obama/Edwards, you can bet there will be some additonal momentum coming out of this. They may indeed become the anti-Hillary candidate in the coming contests.

Huckabee's 2nd place finish in a IA straw poll was a great example. No Thompson, no McCain, no Rudy, but look at the momentum he got out of that straw poll.

I can't believe Richardson and Biden would join Obama/Edwards on this. Both of these second-tier candidates are long long shot, and they need to do everything possible to have a chance.


Once again, Hillary is showing how selfish she is... (4.00 / 3)
She is doing what's best for herself, regardless of how much it screws up the rest of the system and the agreed-upon process that was put in place.  I really hope the die-hards in Iowa and New Hampshire take that into when they vote. It's Bill and Hillary's world. We just grovel in it.

Hillary isn't to blame for this (0.00 / 0)
fiasco, and neither are the voters of Michigan.  The problem with stripping away the delegates and the majority of the candidates removing their names from the ballot is that it punishes the voters in Michigan, not the people who made the change.  How does that help anyone? Removing their names from the ballot was entirely unnecessary and looks like a slap in the face to Michiganders.  Will these same candidates also be removing their names from the ballot in Florida? And if they don't, are they then in it for themselves and ready to screw up the rest of the system, or do these complaints only apply to Hillary?

The whole primary season this year is a disaster, and it really needs a serious overhaul before the next cycle.  Yes, the states need to adhere to the rules, but stripping them of their delegates isn't the way to go.

I notice also that no one is criticizing Dodd or Kucinich for staying on the ballot.  Interesting.


[ Parent ]
Correction (0.00 / 0)
Kucinich is out too.

[ Parent ]
Hillary isn't to blame for this (0.00 / 0)
Then how should we proceed?

What is to prevent other states to now jump to Jan. 8th or earlier.

Should we allow them to do so with no penalties?


[ Parent ]
How should we proceed? (0.00 / 0)
I don't know. We need to find a better way, but I don't have all the answers.  That doesn't mean I don't know the wrong answer when I see it.  As I said, there should be consequences for breaking the rules, but this isn't the way to go.  Not only does it punish the wrong people, but it's also entirely meaningless in the end:

He also seconded comments House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made in Washington today that the eventual nominee will ultimately decide whether to seat Florida's delegates.
"One way or the other, when the votes really count, Floridians votes are going to count," Dean said.

Thanks to Step Beyond over at MyDD for the link.


[ Parent ]
There must be consequences apparently (0.00 / 0)
until there are actually consequences. The thing about this primary is the chaos that the blogs helped create. in their sloganeering they forgot the importance of process when you don't have a lot of money to campaign or are the underdog. the only campaign that wins in such chaos is the one with the most money and name ID. any first year political science major could have told you that.

[ Parent ]
Smart move... (0.00 / 0)
... but not necessarily for Clinton.

I've mentioned this elsewhere, but I'm curious to see what the OpenLeft community has to say.

First, I'll note that I'm from Michigan, and I'm pretty upset that as things stand now, my vote will have no impact on the Democratic nomination. I was kind of looking forward to having a voice...

However, for Obama, Edwards, et al, I think this is a smart move. As things stand now, Hillary Clinton will win Michigan. She starts with the natural advantage as front-runner she seems to have everywhere but Iowa, and the only way that any other candidate could win Michigan would be by seriously campaigning and spending money in the state. They can't, because of DNC rules and the four-state pledge. For the other candidates, there's no way you can stop Hillary Clinton from winning. (Well, you could have a lot of momentum out of Iowa and New Hampshire, but let's suppose no one is walking away with the nomination yet.)

Now, even though it's a meaningless primary (no delegates allocated for the convention), the results will still be reported on in the media. It'll hurt the Obama campaign or the Edwards campaign or anyone else to have it be reported that they lost by 20 or 30 points, especially when there was really nothing they could do to change the result.

The only option they have is to find a way to make Clinton's victory either hollow or embarrassing. By getting their names off the ballot, both of these become possible.

With no other strong candidates on the ballot (assuming neither Dodd nor Gravel suddenly take off), everyone will expect Hillary Clinton to win with something like 80 or 90 percent. If she wins by that kind of stunning margin, it's not a story, because everyone will expect it. After all, she's up against "also-rans," not serious contenders.

That would be a hollow victory, and, while a slight boost for Clinton, wouldn't be a big deal. But what if she doesn't win by that kind of margin? What if an anti-Clinton protest vote comes together behind Dodd or Gravel? A 60-40 victory against a minor candidate in something she was supposed to walk away with would, I think, be a serious blow to any momentum she has going into South Carolina and February 5.

Is that likely? Probably not. But it might be what the other campaigns are hoping for.

Chris, you said:

Unless the primary is moved back and / or something takes place to allow other names to appear on the ballot, Michigan is not a guaranteed victory for Hillary Clinton on January 15th. This is the sort of move that will allow her to recover at least some momentum from any losses she may incur in Iowa and New Hampshire the previous two weeks, thus helping her out heading into Nevada and, probably, South Carolina just four days later.

Here's an alternative: Suppose Clinton wins Iowa or New Hampshire (or both). Whomever comes out of those states as the main challenger to her will be looking for some way, any way, before February 5 to cut into her momentum. If she wins the first two states, every other campaign is dead. But what if there's a sudden, unforeseen, embarrassing Clinton loss or near-loss in Michigan? It doesn't matter that the Michigan primary won't count, because it will set up a media narrative going into more important contests.

Someone like Chris Dodd could end up as a one-state "anti-Hillary" candidate for everyone else to rally around, all in an attempt to kill her momentum and change the story. Dodd wouldn't benefit from it after Michigan, I'd guess, but someone like Obama or Edwards might be able to build upon it in South Carolina.

At least, I think it might play out like that. It's all speculation and wild leaps and assumptions on my part, and I could easily be wrong.


bad political decision (0.00 / 0)
i think that this hurts her and will be used against her by the others.

once again she hedges her bets to see if she can win both sides.  unfortunately, that's the kind of president she will be.


Thinking Swing State (0.00 / 0)
Really think Clinton campaign is thinking Michigan is a must win swing state in the general - that she does not want to anger by rejecting by taking her name off the ballot.  Perhaps the Democratic party and the entire field should be concerned about that in Michigan as well as in Florida. Once those states broke the rules - perhaps we have to find a different method of setting the schedule but angering voters does not seem to be the way to go

I'm not sure I buy it (4.00 / 3)
There's always the chance that Michigan could swing Republican, especially if Romney is the nominee (remember, Kerry only carried the state with about 51 percent). So I see not wanting to anger my state, because our electoral votes are pretty important. But I really doubt that anyone in the state will care about who was on the ballot in a meaningless primary that most people don't take part in anyway.

I mean, how does a Republican turn this into an attack ad? It's not their style. When they attack, they pick something that's personal-- flip-flopper, immoral, coward, serial exaggerator, etc.-- not something process-oriented, like "Barack Obama says he cares about Michigan, but he had his name removed from the primary ballot!" That's a pretty pathetic attack ad, if you ask me.

I could easily be wrong, but I don't think the average swing voter cares who was on the ballot in the primary-- especially a meaningless primary.

As for the party activists who might be offended now, they'll come around for any Democratic nominee. If they don't, then they've really got to get over themselves. Jeopardizing an election over our collective political ego will only hurt Michigan in the long run.


[ Parent ]
New Hampshire and Bill Gardner (0.00 / 0)
I'm wondering if this could also have been a move to keep Bill Gardner happy and to perhaps influence him to put the NH primary a little further down the pike from Iowa (on a NH blog it was discussed that now he can ignore Michigan and even move the NH primary to the 15th of Jan).

If that was the logic, then it does indeed make sense for Obama, Edwards, and Richardson to do what they have done, for any one of them would then be able to leverage Iowa momentum for perhaps a NH upset win. 

Just a thought...

John McCain doesn't think kids need health insurance



Voters are more important... (0.00 / 0)
...then process, or party leaders or the DNC or anybody else.  Score a big one for Clinton.  Sens. Dodd & Clinton can always say that they are putting the voters first.  It's even worse that Michigan is in the midst of a deep recession and Hillary can always point to how she stood by them in thier time of need. 

voters are protected by process (0.00 / 0)
not by a lack of process. many of you seem to have a limited understanding of the actual way in which democratic processes work effectively.

[ Parent ]
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