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Michigan Will Hold the First Primary

It's set for January 15th, once Governor Granholm signs on, which she is expected to do. So that means my husband and I along with all other voting Michiganders will be voting in our primary before anyone else in the country, until New Hampshire and Iowa move theirs up, that is.

Michigan leaped to the head of the presidential primary lineup Thursday, setting a Jan. 15 election that could become the biggest primary in state history and a key battleground for the Republican and Democratic nominations.

But Michigan's move -- supported by large majorities in the state House and Senate and backed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm -- will almost certainly be countered by other states, especially Iowa and New Hampshire, which are intent on preserving their traditional primacy in the presidential selection process.

Assuming Granholm approves the measure as expected, Michigan -- for now -- would have the first primary and third nominating contest, behind caucuses for Wyoming Republicans on Jan. 5 and for both parties Jan. 14 in Iowa.

Lawmakers supporting the move said it was crucial that Michigan concerns be placed on the national agenda and before the presidential candidates as soon as possible.

"When they're making promises ... we want to make sure they're not just making promises to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina," said state Senate Minority Leader Mark Schauer, D-Battle Creek.

State Elections Director Chris Thomas predicted that a Jan. 15 primary would attract more voters than previous presidential primaries. The previous record came in 1972, when Alabama Gov. George Wallace bested George McGovern and Hubert Humphrey on the Democratic side of a contest that drew 1.9 million voters.

Now the question is, will the National Democratic Party try to sanction the Michigan Democratic Party in the same way it sanctioned Florida's. Larry Sabato thinks it's all a bluff:

Florida, which moved its primary to Jan. 29 -- also in violation of national Democratic Party rules -- was sanctioned last week with the loss of all its delegates. But longtime political observers say it's an empty threat that the delegates wouldn't vote or count at the national convention.

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, predicted that no matter what the national party threatens, the votes of Michigan and Florida Democrats will count at the national convention. The states have too many delegates to ignore, he said.

"I think it's all a bluff," he said. "They realize this system is insane, but they don't have the clout to do it."

Sabato said the only thing that is going to matter to any nominee is winning in November -- and that means bringing voters in Michigan and Florida along for the ride, whether the national party likes it or not.


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Comments (9)

Let's see, what's good for ... (Below threshold)

Let's see, what's good for American Motors, is good for the USA.

Stupid. Now NH (because th... (Below threshold)
Patrick Author Profile Page:

Stupid. Now NH (because they have a state law that says they must hold their primary 7 days before anyone else) will move their primary to Jan 8th, and Iowa (state law says 8 days before NH) will caucus in December. Mark Belling laid this schedule out the other day on Rush's show. Iowan's will trudge to the polls on New Years Eve, or Eve-eve.

Just so, Patrick. And Sout... (Below threshold)

Just so, Patrick. And South Carolina Republicans (who may set their own date) will move up, too - possibly joined by the Democrats (if they are uncowed by DNC threats).

Warner's retirement sets up an interesting potential battle between two former Governors, assuming they both decide to run, and win their respective party's nomination. Mark Warner should have the Democratic nod for the asking, while Jim Gilmore will likely face primary opposition from Rep. Tom Davis, who represents a Beltway district. Gilmore should have the advantage in the primary, having run and won two statewide races previously and being more conservative, although Davis' supporters would argue he has better chances of winning in November by virtue of his popularity in Northern Virginia.

This would be the second such match-up of former Governors for a Virginia US Senate seat in only eight years, since George Allen unseated Chuck Robb in 2000.

In any case, Warner won't be terribly missed. He was only there by a fluke of nature anyway, having lost the 1978 nomination to Richard Obenshain, a Reaganesque conservative, who died in a plane crash and was replaced by the 2nd-place Warner.

Sorry, most of that belongs... (Below threshold)

Sorry, most of that belongs on the Warner topic!


Just FYI, <a href="http://w... (Below threshold)

Just FYI, Wyoming is scheduled with the first primary on January 5th.

At this rate I'm expecting ... (Below threshold)

At this rate I'm expecting the first Primary to actually take place sometime in late October.

I heard that New Hampshire ... (Below threshold)

I heard that New Hampshire legislator's are currently drafting up a bill to hold the primary last Tuesday.

I imagine if someone doesn'... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

I imagine if someone doesn't do something about this, we will be voting in the 2012 primary in late 2008.

"When they're maki... (Below threshold)
"When they're making promises ... we want to make sure they're not just making promises to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina," said state Senate Minority Leader Mark Schauer, D-Battle Creek.
So those in Michigan want to be the first to be lied to, that's what that statement amounts to.

Schauer is a "fine" example of why my former home state has gone straight into the shitter in the last 2 decades.






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