Politically Savvy: Michigan and Florida – Why Every Vote Counts
This year's presidential election has been one of the hottest ones ever. In my short 20 years, in which I have closely watched every presidential election since 1992 (I kid you not….I supported Ross Perot), I have never seen a presidential election more exciting than this one. Every week, there is some new drama or twist in the election and though the Republicans finally found a nominee, it seems the Democratic race has no end in sight yet.
The latest twist is the drama over whether the Democratic National Committee will allow Florida and Michigan to have delegates seated at the national nominating convention in August. The DNC had originally decided not to allow these two states to have delegates at the convention because they had moved their primaries too early in the primary season. In both states, Edwards, Obama, and Clinton had to sign agreements promising not to campaign. Obama even withdrew his name from the ballot in Michigan. In both states, Senator Clinton won the majority of the vote, but technically this shouldn't matter since neither state is allowed to have delegates in the convention.
So why does it matter all of a sudden? Because the delegate race between Clinton and Obama is extremely close and every delegate, and every single vote, matters. The entire nation is watching to see if the DNC decides to allow the two states to send delegates because if they did, it would disturb the extremely close delegate balance between the two Democratic candidates right now. When the race is this close, should the two states be allowed to send delegates to the convention again? Shouldn't the votes of Michigan and Florida residents count too? If so, should the states hold their primaries over again since Obama withdrew his name in Michigan, and neither candidate campaigned in either state? If they did have primaries again, who should pay for it – the state and its taxpayers, or the Democratic National Committee? And, if they held their primaries again when the race is so much farther along than it was in January when these primaries were first held, wouldn't that completely change the political climate and affect the outcome of the new primaries? These are some of the plethora of questions plaguing voters, the DNC, and elected officials right now as this race continues to heat up…
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