Michigan Caucus To Be Announced

TNR has a pretty good scoop up, one that could have better than a modest effect on the race as it stands today.  Michigan is expected to announce a caucus within the next few days.

This is in general good news for Obama, and not so good news for Clinton.

Apparently this was the plan all along; for Michigan to hold a caucus to portion out its share of delegates.  But then leading Democrats in the state got a little too excited and put their state’s delegates in danger by pushing for an early primary date.

This is not necessarily what the Clinton campaign was hoping for.

For one, it takes away half of one of their more often repeated arguments that Hillary “won” Michigan and Florida.  With a new Michigan caucus, Hillary can no longer make a claim to winning that state (which itself was absurd.  Of course she won; Obama and Edwards weren’t even on the ballot), but actually has to work to… well… win the state.

Second, it’ll be a caucus and we all know how caucuses tend to go.  They deeply favor Obama who has a surprising capacity to build up enthusiastic grassroots support.

Finally, while Clinton did indeed “win” the state, exit polling shows that a whole lot of folks would have voted for Obama the first time around.  Demographically, Obama has a lot going for him there.  I mean, let’s be real, running against nobody but Kucinich, Hillary only managed to win the vote in the 50’s.  That does not bode particularly well for her facing Obama head on.

I think had Michigan chosen to simply have a primary, Obama still could have won the state.  But now that it’s going to be a caucus… I wonder how long it will take for Clinton, who had fought so hard to have Michigan’s delegates seated, to start crying foul and working against it.

At a bare minimum you can expect the rehashed “caucuses aren’t democratic” arguments to be repeated ad nauseum.

As for Florida, we still don’t know.  Right now the state is fighting a do-over and is attempting to have its delegation seated based upon the January primary.  This of course is not exactly fair given it was an uncontested primary, but I don’t think a do-over favors Obama very much.

Still, it would give him the opportunity to shrink the lead that Clinton had during the first go around, and it is only fair to have a do-over where both candidates can compete.  So, come on Florida, get with the program.  Schedule a do-over!

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