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.