Should the Delegates from Florida and Michigan be Allowed to Cast Votes on the Democratic Presidential Nomination?

Something tells me that this will be a hot topic at this year’s DNC. Gordon Trowbridge provided some background a little over a week ago:

The Democratic presidential front-runners continued their sparring today over the role of Michigan and Florida in their nomination battle, with Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign saying the states’ convention delegates should be seated at the national convention, and backers of Sen. Barack Obama calling that a political ploy. Obama campaign manager David Plouffe repeated the campaign’s position that the Michigan and Florida contests will have no role in choosing the nominee, though he left open the possibility that Obama would support seating the delegations if he enters this summer’s convention in Denver as the clear nominee. The back-and-forth came as Florida Democrats headed to the polls to vote in today’s contest that the Democratic National Committee has declared meaningless. Like Michigan, Florida is being punished by the national party for moving its contest into January. The party has said it will not seat the delegations of either state, though Democratic leaders from Michigan and Florida are nearly unanimous in their belief that the penalties ultimately won’t hold. Clinton, who won in Michigan and is expected to win in Florida as well, has said she will encourage her delegates from other states to vote to seat Michigan and Florida, a stance campaign manager Patty Solis Doyle repeated today.

While the DNC’s current position is that these delegates should not be seated, it’s going to be a hard position to sustain since the Democrats will likely need Florida and its citizens are likely going to see the Democrats as being hypocritical if these delegates have no voice in the 2008 DNC. After all, we Democrats have been signing the song about every vote should count ever since that 2000 fiasco.

Let’s not give Senator Clinton too much credit for taking a noble stand as she would be the beneficiary of the DNC reversing its position. So the Obama camp’s charge of a political ploy might have some merit but their position also seems to be a political ploy as well. Of course they’d allow these delegates to vote if Senator Obama had already gone over the top so that their votes really would not matter.

But Reuters – via Kevin Drum – is reporting:

By the time the last primary is held June 7, Obama’s advisers project he will have 1,806 delegates to 1,789 for New York Senator Hillary Clinton, according to a document outlining the scenario that was inadvertently attached to a release on delegate counts from yesterday’s Super Tuesday primaries.

In other words, this race will be extremely close. Kevin continues:

I guess this means that superdelegates can now expect the Obama folks to start recruiting them like high school football stars.

Let’s suppose, however, that Clinton and Obama also pretty much split the superdelegate vote as well. Whether the Florida and Michigan delegates get to vote on the first round can turn out to be quite important. I expect this to be one of many fights during this year’s DNC. The floor is open – should they be allowed to vote or not? Discuss!