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As Iowa voters gear up for Thursday’s caucuses, Michigan Democrats have just a few days to change their scheduled Jan. 15 presidential primary or lose all their delegates to the Democratic National Convention in August. The conflict began when Michigan’s legislature set the Jan. 15 primary so voters could exercise greater influence over the selection of the party nominees for the 2008 presidential race, but Michigan Democrats appear likely to end up with no delegates at all and thus little clout at the national party convention in Denver.Assuming Michigan does not change its date, given that Edwards and Obama are not on the Michigan ballot, if the media uses Michigan's delegates in their summaries, that will be a big psychologist boost for Clinton.
The rule-making division of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) recommended on Dec. 1 that the party strip the Michigan Democratic Party of its 156 delegates because of the state’s non-compliance with national party rules. The DNC set Feb. 5 as the earliest date states can schedule their nominating contests [outside of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada]].
At the Dec. 1 meeting, the Rules and Bylaws Committee gave the state party 30 days to get into compliance with national regulations before the committee’s recommendation became final and Michigan lost its delegates. The clock started ticking Dec. 5, when the Michigan Democratic Party received the DNC’s official notice. So unless the state party takes action by Saturday to return to its DNC-approved plan to hold a Feb. 9 state party-run caucus, it will lose its delegates. The Michigan Democratic Party has done nothing to indicate it intends to change from the Jan. 15 primary and party Chairman Mark Brewer has said there are no plans to do so.
Update: Jerome Armstrong over at MyDD has more on Michigan:
For some reason I never got to the bottom of, Obama & Edwards both made the bone-headed idea of dropping out of the Michigan primary-- why, does anyone know?But as with Florida, the delegates will likely get restored:
If the media counts Michigan, Michigan's delegates almost guarantee Clinton a delegate lead going into Super Tuesday. And I don't think the DNC can do anything about it.
The net effect of the DNC's banning Michigan's 156 delegates from participating in next summer's presidential nomination process will be a penalty that is not enforced:"I don't think it'll affect much of anything. All of the nominees said they'd seat delegates. We'll have delegates in August. (The exclusion) is not expected to be enforced," DeRoche said, noting it would reflect poorly on the candidates during the presidential election in November if they were not to allow the votes of two states as sizable as Michigan and Florida during the primary process.Yes, it would be a disaster. Since all the candidates are apparently already on the record for allowing Michigan's delegates to the convention, that makes the Jan 15th contest there much more than a "beauty contest" as there are going to be 156 delegates that are chosen.