Election 2008

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Matthew NcNey, left, a supporter of Sen. Barack Obama, argues with Jennifer Zambernard,
a supporter of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton during a rally in Washington. (AP/Kevin Wolf)

Florida, Michigan Decision Does Little to Help Hillary

June 02, 2008 07:50 AM
by Cara McDonough
The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee ruled that both states will be seated in full, but with each delegate casting only half a vote.

30 Second Summary

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The decision, which does not affect Barack Obama’s strong lead over opponent Hillary Clinton, came on Saturday, after hours of often-emotional testimony and contentious debate, The Washington Post reports. Clinton supporters protested outside.

The end result is a net gain of 87 delegate votes for Clinton and 63 for Obama. Also, the number of delegates needed to win the nomination has been raised from 2,026 to 2,118. Obama now controls 2,052 delegates to Clinton's 1,877.

Clinton’s camp had been pushing to seat all the delegates in full.

Florida and Michigan had lost the right to seat their delegates at the national convention this summer as the penalty for advancing their primaries on the contest calendar.

While Obama joined other candidates in removing himself from the Michigan ballot, Clinton remained, winning the primary in both states, thus prompting a lengthy debate over what to do with those votes.

The Rules and Bylaws Committee decision came just before the three remaining Democratic primaries. Puerto Rico held its primary on June 1, and Montana and South Dakota will vote on June 3, meaning the nominee should be decided by the week’s end—an event that will please many Democrats who are anxious to see the competition end and the race for the presidency begin.

“We have big issues and big differences to thrash out in this election,” writes The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel, who urges Clinton to step down on June 4. “It is time to for this election to turn to the defining issues.”

Headline: Florida and Michigan get half votes; Clinton campaign may appeal

Background: All eyes on DNC committee

Opinion and Analysis: Reactions, nearing the end and Obama as the nominee

Related Topics: Protests, cheers and jeers surround DNC decision

Reference: The candidates

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