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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Michigan and Florida Matter?

The Wall Street Journal is kind of slow to catch on to certain things. After both Michigan and Florida's Democratic primaries; both of no consequence yet since their delegations were decertificed; I said that someone would be trying to seat those delegates.

Low and Behold, the Journal has caught on to that idea and started asking questions about how that would be handled. New primaries or caucus's in both states, using combined voting totals have been suggested (and rejected by Florida). A convention fight on the credentials committee is probably going to be the most likely scenario, but one that Clinton wouldn't be happy with. The committee would be based on vote totals, so like the primaries, it would be split pretty evenly, and could get ugly.

The other option, that no one likes, is just telling the two states that they don't get any delegates, as the rules stated when they moved their primaries. With the number of general election electoral votes at stake no one likes that idea. Telling that many people their primary votes don't count could put both states at risk come November.

The whole situation begs for the two parties to get together, and come up with a new primary system. Possibly leaving the four original early states, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina as the first primaries, then coming up with say 5 or 6 regional dates the rest of the states vote on.

By mixing large and small states into each of the 6 groups, the likelihood of eliminating a candidate before someone votes gets reduced. It would also give the candidates more time to focus on states, instead of having 22 of the vote on Super Tuesday it might only be 7 or 8.

Here's how I'd envision the map, each region would have at least one big state, and no more than 8 states in any of them. (no, the two green areas wouldn't be voting together, I goofed with the colors).

I would think either the north east, with New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania or the midwest with Ohio, Michigan and Illinois would be the choice for the last primaries, making it even more likely that there are relevant candidates available for the voters in those states.

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