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March 17, 2008
Florida Still a Mess for Democrats
The prospect of some kind of revote in Florida has hit another snag as it appears the idea for a mail in primary is dead:
As the Florida Democratic Party gets ready to decide Monday whether to pull the plug on a long-shot bid to restage the state's presidential primary by mail, it faces a larger question: Is there a Plan B? The state party is adamant that no regular primary will be held due to its cost. Hillary is adamant that the votes from the January 29th primary count. Obama is adamant that they don't. The national party is adamant that the primary votes not count either.
Democrats say there are a few options -- though none that the state party controls -- to give the state's voters a voice in picking the Democratic presidential nominee. Most of them, though, have as many political flaws as the technical hurdles involved in mailing ballots to the state's 4.1 million Democrats.
For starters, Democrats are hoping for a negotiated settlement between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But with both candidates casting for every delegate, neither is likely to accept a compromise that would give a rival an edge.
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, a Clinton ally who backs voting by mail but acknowledges its lack of popularity, has floated a second compromise: Strip Florida of half its delegates and assign the remaining ones to the two candidates based on the Jan. 29 presidential primary, which favored Clinton. A spokesman for Nelson said the idea has morphed into giving each of Florida's delegates a half vote.
But over the weekend Clinton's campaign tossed cold water on the proposal, which would cut her delegate haul in half.
Where does this leave the party? On the way to Denver for a floor fight over whether the Florida delegation will be seated.