Florida and Michigan could rerun primaries

The Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, yesterday pleaded with party officials in Florida and Michigan to come up with an acceptable plan that will enable their delegates to be seated at the nominating convention in late August.

The word from the party bosses was that a "do over" was needed to get out of the tangle caused by Hillary Clinton's big wins on Tuesday. She only narrowly ate into Barack Obama's delegate lead, but the result is a stalemate which cannot be resolved in the coming contests.

The party high command now feels that the only way to get a clear winner may be to rerun the two presidential nominating contests in Florida and Michigan. This could take the contest that was supposed to end in early February into the summer.

Both Florida and Michigan were punished by the party for jumping the gun and holding contests before 5 February, "Super Tuesday". Hillary Clinton won both contests but as things stand the elected delegates cannot take part in the nominating convention in Denver.

Yesterday, the Clinton camp shifted position, favouring a re-vote in both Michigan and Florida, in the belief that both states would naturally favour her. The Obama camp has yet to say what it wants, but the stakes are suddenly very high as the party tries to extract itself from a deadlock. If a decision is taken that is seen as biased towards Mrs Clinton, the fear is that the huge numbers of young voters, drawn to the Democratic party by Mr Obama's inspirational message, will simply melt away, leaving the party vulnerable to defeat in the presidential election.

Despite all the hoopla over her victories in Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island, Mrs Clinton has only cut into Mr Obama's delegate lead by at most 15. At best she has given her campaign breathing space and slowed any move by the Democratic establishment in his favour.

To win the nomination, a candidate must secure 2,025 delegates and neither Mrs Clinton nor Mr Obama can reach that number without the help of super delegates – the 795 party apparatchiks and elected Democrats who are automatically seated at the convention. A headcount of pledged and projected delegates by The New York Times give Mr Obama 1,299 delegates and Mrs Clinton 1,180.

To help her cross the finishing line first, Mrs Clinton is demanding that delegates from Michigan and Florida be counted even though neither candidate campaigned actively in these races. Michigan's Democratic contest was more akin to an election in a one-party state as only her name was on the ballot. Mr Dean has ruled out seating the delegates and went on television yesterday to say that the national Democratic Party will not pay the $50m it will cost to run a second set of presidential primaries. "We can't afford to do that," Mr Dean said on CBS. "That's not our problem. We need our money to win the presidential race."

More than a million Democrats went to the poll in Florida on 29 January ignoring the fact that the Democratic National Committee had already stripped the state of its delegates because it moved its primary date to before Super Tuesday.

Whatever the outcome of the coming primaries and caucuses in Mississippi, Wyoming and Pennsylvania, there is almost no prospect of the logjam being broken the way things stand.

"The rules were set a year and a half ago," Mr Dean said. "Florida and Michigan voted for them, and then decided that they didn't need to abide by the rules. Well, when you are in a contest you do need to abide by the rules."

Michigan's governor, a Hillary Clinton supporter, and Florida's state party chair now say they are prepared to run their contests again with the first Tuesday in June pencilled in, along with Montana and South Dakota.

For rolling comment on the US election visit: independent.co.uk/campaign08

Arts and Entertainment
'A voice untroubled by time': Kate Bush
musicReview: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Life and Style
Cooked up: reducing dietary animal fat might not be as healthy as government advice has led millions of people to believe
healthA look at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
News
peopleJustin Bieber accuses papparrazzi of acting 'recklessly' after car crash
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
people
Voices
voices
Sport
Roger Federer is greeted by Michael Jordan following his victory over Marinko Matosevic
tennisRoger Federer gets Michael Jordan's applause following tweener shot in win over Marinko Matosevic
Arts and Entertainment
Oppressive atmosphere: the cast of 'Tyrant'
tvIntroducing Tyrant, one of the most hotly anticipated dramas of the year
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
News
Ukrainian Leonid Stadnik, 37, 2.59 meter (8,5 feet) tall, the world's tallest living man, waves as he poses for the media by the Chevrolet Tacuma car presented to him by President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko in Kiev on March 24, 2008.
newsPeasant farmer towered at almost 8'5'' - but shunned the limelight
News
Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in ‘The Front Page’, using an old tech typewriter
media
Life and Style
Could a robot sheepdog find itself working at Skipton Auction Mart?
techModel would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Suha Arraf’s film ‘Villa Touma’ (left) is set in Ramallah and all the actresses are Palestinian
film
Sport
Angel Di Maria poses with Louis van Gaal after signing for Manchester United
sportWinger arrives from Real Madrid and could make debut on Saturday
Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Arts and Entertainment
Hooked on classical: cellist Rachael Lander began drinking to combat panic attacks
musicThe cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow...
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Organisational Change/ Transition Project Manager

£500 - £550 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently...

Assistant Management Accountant - Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Assistant Management Accountant - Tunbridge Wells a...

Head of IT (Not-for-Profit sector) - East Sussex

£45000 - £50000 per annum + 5 weeks holiday & benefits: Ashdown Group: Head of...

Accountacy Tutor

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Randstad Education is looking...

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis