Dems sit out Michigan primary, GOP candidates clash on personal records
January 15, 2008 —
While many may have viewed the 2004 presidential election as a crucial point in American history due to the issues at hand, the election of 2008 might have as much at stake if not more. The process by which the major parties nominate their candidates have certainly proven this through the amount of tension between the party candidates themselves, showing that even when a candidate is nominated by their party, their struggle for the White House has only just begun.
The Jan. 15 Michigan primary won't mean as much this election for some presidential hopefuls as it has in the past.
Since Michigan moved its primary to an earlier date, the Democratic National Convention found this to be in violation of party rules, and stripped Michigan of its delegates, causing the number to drop from 156 delegates to 0.
In addition to being stripped of its democratic delegates, democratic candidates Barrack Obama, John Edwards, and Bill Richardson have chose to boycott the Michigan Democratic primary. Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gavel, and Chris Dodd are still on the ballot, although Dodd has dropped out of the race. Edwards and Obama supporters have been urged to vote "uncommitted" on their ballots.
The Republican National Convention also found Michigan in violation of party rules, and decided to strip Michigan of half of its eligible delegates, decreasing the overall number of Republican delegates from 60 to 30. No Republican candidates have announced a boycott of their primary.
The delegates from both the Republican and Democratic Parties vote for their party's candidate in their national convention. The Republican National Convention will meet in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Democratic National Convention will convene in Denver, Colorado. Both events will take place in the summer of 2008.
J. Alex Briggs, a graduate student from Central Michigan University working toward his Master of Arts in political science with a concentration in American Government, is a Democratic voter that is disappointed with the upcoming Michigan primary.
"I won't be voting in the Democratic primaries this year," Briggs said. "To be quite frank, its a long way to drive to vote for me, and as I'm unable to vote for the candidate I would like to, it's useless."
Although Briggs said he won't vote in the primary, he didn't entirely blame Michigan for moving its primary date.
"To be honest I think it says less about the candidates, and more about the system," Briggs said. "The candidates are responding to Michigan trying to increase its importance of the state nationally. It's probably better for them, and the state, that they sit out this one, so they can appear to be against it, and then next cycle everyone will participate, and Michigan will gain the importance it seeks."
Supporters of Republican candidates, however, still claim they have a lot to strive for in the primary. Some political organizers such as Jason Seagraves, a Saginaw-born 29-year-old and avid supporter of candidate Ron Paul, said his campaign efforts have been non-stop.
" We have had sign wavings at busy street corners every week until recently when we began doing door-to-door canvassing," Seagraves said. "Altogether, we have distributed approximately 50,000 pieces of literature, and well over 1,000 yard signs."
Jenny Fedder, a retail employee in the Flint area and a resident of Saginaw, said she hadn't chosen a candidate to support, but she is convinced that some candidates, in particular Republican Mike Huckabee, don't have a chance at the nomination.
"I can tell you, honestly, I don't think poor old Huckabee has a chance."