Clinton Wins Michigan – Again

Susan J. Demas reports that some deft back room maneuvering has won Hillary Clinton a larger share of Michigan’s non-existent delegates.

If you punched your ballot for “uncommitted” in Michigan’s Jan. 15 Democratic presidential primary to back Barack Obama, your vote might have essentially gone to Hillary Clinton anyway.

While all eyes were locked on Pennsylvania for the last six weeks, Clinton was quietly amassing delegates in the Wolverine State. And she was rewarded this past weekend with a significant victory at the district conventions.


Buoyed by party elder support, Clinton seems likely to capture more than 60 percent of the state’s 128 pledged delegates, according to an analysis by the Michigan Information & Research Service. Including the 28 superdelegates, which lean heavily in the New York senator’s favor, she could win upward of 70 percent of delegates, provided that they’re seated with full voting power.

That depends on the Democratic National Committee, which punished Michigan for leapfrogging the primary schedule. There is no deal yet to seat the delegation. But the Clinton camp is working overtime to ensure the elected slate is sent. Keep in mind that Clinton won 55 percent to uncommitted’s 40 percent since Obama wasn’t on the ballot.


Michiganders for Obama, a ragtag group of new volunteers, triumphed in turnout Saturday but were steamrolled by the Clinton machine. Obama has proved to be a master of organization, but he made a tactical error not to plump up his skeletal apparatus in Michigan. As a result, he will almost certainly fall short of the 36 uncommitted delegates selected. Volunteers argued that only Obama supporters should be uncommitted delegates, but they were outmaneuvered. About half of the uncommitted delegates reserved the right to vote for Clinton, depending on whom their unions eventually endorse.

It seems to me that there’s no way the seating of Michigan’s delegates, based on an election where all parties agreed not to participate and only Clinton’s name was on the ballot, could be seated. That’s even more so if doing so would take Clinton from second place to first in the delegate count.

Still, it’s shrewd of her to continue to fight for the delegates, let alone manage to cut into the “Uncommitted” delegates, which everyone logically presumed was a ballot placeholder for “Anybody But Hillary.”

via Andrew Sullivan

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Triumph says:

    Still, it’s shrewd of her to continue to fight for the delegates

    It shows she is a fighter and willing to fight dirty. This is just an extension of the toughness and the mettle she exhibited when she saved Sinbad from Serbian rebels in Kosovo.

  2. Matt Dailey says:

    More of Hillary’s slash and burn tactics. The way things are going, even if she gets the nomination I don’t think she will win. Hillary and Bill have completely turned off a large segment of Democratic voters, especially the black community.