Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Florida U.S. Reps: No Do-Overs

Florida U.S. Reps: No Do-Overs

Florida's U.S. House delegation threw another monkey wrench into the state's delegate dilemma Tuesday night. "Our House delegation is opposed to a mail-in campaign or any redo of any kind," the House members said in a joint release. Their preference is to seat the delegates chosen in the rule-breaking Jan. 29 primary, a move that would give Hillary Clinton an advantage.

Momentum had been rapidly moving toward a do-over primary on mail in ballots, a plan pushed by Sen. Bill Nelson, a Clinton supporter. The state Democratic Party has been preparing a new delegate selection plan and was expected to send it to the Democratic National Committee as soon as Thursday. Florida chair Karen Thurman wants to get ballots sent to overseas and military voters as soon as possible.

Clinton won the rogue Jan. 29 primary with 51 percent to 33 percent for Obama and 14 percent for John Edwards, who dropped out the next day. If the re-vote broke relatively evenly without Edwards as a factor, as other recent states have, the elected delegate gain for either candidate would be small. In fact, the battle may be more about the superdelegates, who are also unseated under DNC rules.

Clinton has been seen as supporting Florida and especially Michigan in their efforts to seat delegates from the leapfrog contests, and she's been rewarded with suport. Democratic Convention Watch reports that Florida's superdelegates break eight to four for Clinton over Obama, with 12 still uncommitted. In Michigan, seven superdelegates have committed to Clinton while only one is backing Obama. 17 remain uncommitted, but those include many people expected to back Clinton such as Sen. Carl Levin, who wants to eliminate Iowa and New Hampshire's early role in the nomination process.

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