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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Michigan Primary : Unpredictable--UPDATE: Little or No Waiting at Polls in Detroit

Final Update] Romney won th Michigan primary on the GOP side and Hillary Clinton, the only major Democratic candidate on the ticket wonfor the Democratic side.

Troubling for Clinton though was that 70% of the African American voters chose the "uncommitted" option rather than Hillary Clinton, via CNN Political Ticker. Those voters would have been Obama voters, had he been on the ballot.

[Update #2]
Michigan Messenger is live blogging the day and a couple of things caught my eye:

At the Cheney Academy in Willow Run,several voters report selecting "Uncommitted." Some support Obama, some decline to identify their candidate. All have strong concerns about the Michigan economy. "We are very challenged economically. They didn't even care to come and garner our vote," said Nanci Wazienski, a Kucinich supporter.
Celeste Whiting

I am wondering what I asked below and in my previous pieces (linked below), how much of this anger and dissatisfaction is going to follow the Dems all the way until election day?

Finding a voter who cast a Democrat ballot in predominantly Republican Livingston County where the U.S. Congressman, the state Senator, the two state Representatives and the entire county Board of Commissioners are Republicans was like trying to find snow in July, but I managed to find one. He was reluctant to give me his name, but he was happy to tell me whom he voted for. He said his Sharpie pen was poised over the name of Hillary Clinton because she did not remove her name from the Michigan ballot, but at the last second he colored in the bubble next to the name of Dennis Kucinich because he said he at least came to Michigan to campaign.

"You know, I really wanted to vote for Obama, but I really didn't have that option; other than 'uncommitted'," he said. "I just wonder what's going to happen in November when they really need our vote."

Some Michigan voters are still annoyed at the Democrats shunning them, that does not bode well for Democrats in Michigan in the general election.

Another voter said she cast a vote for "Uncommitted" to send a message to the DNC that there are Democrats in Michigan.

[Updates on top]
According to Freep, there isn't much waiting in lines at the polls in Michigan and the go through precinct by precinct with some of the numbers and how some people voted and why..

The Michigan Primary allows all voters are able to take a ballot that includes both parties, Democrats can vote for Republicans and Republicans can vote for Democrats.

Further complicating things this year, as we discussed previously, the majority of the Democratic candidates have shunned Michigan and had their names removed from the ballot, leaving just Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel, on the Democratic ballot and none of them even bothered to campaign there. (Correction made)

The reason for this was because the dispute over the primary calendar, where Michigan moved their primary forward and the Democratic National Committee vowed not to seat any convention delegates.

At the time we asked if this was incredibly self destructive on the part of the DNC and the Democratic candidates and brought examples of anger from the Michigan voters.


Michigan Liberal:

Leave it to the disorganized Democrats to make a mess of their own presidential primary process.


The RNC told Michigan Republicans that they would lose half of their nominating delegates at their convention. Despite the penalty, all of the Republicans came to Michigan to debate last night, and all of them continue to campaign here.

As usual, the Democrats can’t seem to make up their minds. The Republicans roll on as if everything were normal regardless of how abnormal things are actually going. The Democrats find ways to hobble themselves by alienating their core supporters. Sounds a lot like the Democratic Party I’ve come to know.


Until the primary process is reformed to make it more equitable for all states, we’re stuck with this hodgepodge mess. Meanwhile, Michigan has been rendered irrelevant on the Democratic side. Even if the state Democratic party does (as has been suggested) cancel the primary, change to a caucus, and move the date back to February, that puts us back where we started: largely ignored except for fundraising and taken for granted.

From Blogging for Michigan we see that Hillary Clinton doesn't even need to remove her name from the ballot because:

"It's unnecessary" to remove her name from the ballot, spokesman Mo Elleithee said, because she has already signed a pledge not to campaign in Michigan or other states violating the national party's scheduling rules.

Democratic national committeewoman and wife of U.S. Rep. John Dingell calls it a "cheap political trick".

A leading Michigan Democrat called the decision by four presidential contenders to pull their names off the state ballot “a cheap political trick,” but said there will be a Jan. 15 primary regardless of who is left to run.

“I’m livid,” said Debbie Dingell, a Democratic national committeewoman and wife of U.S. Rep. John Dingell. “What they don’t realize is they’re not running for president of Iowa, they’re running for president of the United States.”

From the comment section of Blogging from Michigan:

there are two options - Michigan can cave in and move it's primary back behind Iowa, and all those candidates will put their names back on the ballot, but why would we want to vote for any of them? They are off my list. Or, we could stay with the early date, and what candidates are left, and if we choose Hillary, we will just be rubberstamping Iowa, from the sounds of it, so why bother, and if we pick Kucinich, just because he's there, he won't win anyway, so why bother. Right now I am so disappointed in the Democratic party, I am not sure I even consider myself a Democrat anymore. I will never donate money to a candidate again, that is for certain, however this is resolved. I could never vote Republican, I'm really not liberal enough to be Green - maybe I just won't vote.

The next comment:

I unsubscribed from their e-mailing lists today. Never was on a Biden one (does he even have one?)

If they're not coming here, I no longer care what happens to them. Good riddance.

And if we end up having a caucus and they participate, I'm not voting for them.

Jumping back to today, we see multiple news articles, speaking to exactly how unpredictable Michigan and the results are going to be.

Ann Selzer, an Iowa-based pollster who surveys Michigan for the Detroit Free Press says ""It's such a quirky situation up there. "There's not been any primary comparable to this election."

On the Republican side, polls claim it will be a neck and neck race between McCain and Romney, yet we all saw with New Hampshire that the polls are not always correct,nor will they ever be.

The survey shows McCain with a tiny 27% to 26% edge over Romney, with Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee a distant third at 15% support. About 8% of voters said they were undecided – a potentially critical factor in such a close election.

MSNBC Firstread brings us other polls:

Here's a wrap of the latest polling in Michigan on the Republican side:
-- a Mitchell Interactive tracking poll conducted Jan. 12-14 shows Romney leading McCain, 35%-29% with Huckabee third at 12%.
-- a Detroit News poll (Jan. 9-12), though, shows McCain and Romney in a dead heat, 27%-26%, respectively, with Huckabee third with 19%.
-- a Detroit Free-Press poll, conducted by Selzer & Co. from Jan. 9-11, shows Romney with a five-point edge, 27%-22%, over McCain with Huckabee third at 16%.
-- and an MSNBC/McClatchy/Mason-Dixon poll, also conducted from Jan. 9-11, showed Romney with an even wider advantage, 30%-22%, over McCain. Huckabee again was third with 17%.

Romney needs a win, but McCain is more popular with independents and if you toss the Democratic vote into the mix, where in order to have their voices heard and if they have no intention to vote for Hillary, it is almost assured that those votes would be tossed to McCain in the primary, you have yourself a very unpredictable race in Michigan.

Huckabee is a wild card in Michigan for the GOP.

On the Democratic side, with Hillary being the only name on the Democratic ballot, her biggest "opponent" is the uncommitted vote in which voters can show their displeasure with Hillary by voting uncommitted, which it is within the realm of possibility that many Obama and Edwards supporters will do. Obama and Edwards has been encouraging their supporters to do so.

More from Freep and Detroit News.

I will start updating this thread with results when the voting results come in this evening....