Michigan’s proposal to hold a June 3 do-over Democratic primary died Thursday when the party’s lawmakers in the state failed to reach a consensus on how to do it. (The Detroit News) Michigan and Florida were stripped of their delegates to the Democratic presidential nominating convention for breaking the party’s rules by moving their primaries earlier. Clinton, who won in Michigan, wants the state’s votes counted; Obama, who stayed off the ballot, doesn’t. (CBS News)
What the commentators said
Clinton’s hope for a boost from Michigan and Florida “is slipping away,” said Douglas E. Schoen in The Wall Street Journal. New votes—or some other compromise to share the states’ delegates—would give her campaign a boost by increasing her share of pledged delegates and the popular vote. But Florida’s Democratic Party appears to be giving up on a do-over, too. National party Chairman Howard Dean should still try to broker a way to let Florida and Michigan voters be heard, because that’s the “Democrats' best hope for avoiding a rift that could divide the party for years to come.”
It’s clearly “Hail Mary time” for Clinton, said Michael Hirsh in Newsweek. The superdelegates won’t dare ignore the will of the voters and hand her the nomination if she doesn’t catch up to Obama before primary voting ends in June, and her “prospects for prevailing” are fading fast. Her best hope to pull off a miracle is to play to her biggest strength—her “credibility on the economy”—and uncork a stimulus proposal to “satisfy the markets.”
Clinton can still win it, said Adam Nagourney in The New York Times (free registration), but she needs three big breaks: A huge victory in the April Pennsylvania primary to prove Obama can’t win big states; an edge in the popular vote nationwide when the primaries end in June; and a huge blemish for Obama to sour superdelegates on his prospects (and his association with a controversial pastor might not be enough). She was already a longshot after her losses in February, “but that shot seems to have grown a little longer” of late.