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Hold the Phone on That Michigan Caucus

As Michigan Democrats are scratching their heads over how to resolve the dilemma of their uncounted primary delegates, the office of Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) issued a statement Friday afternoon indicating that a second election is impractical.

Senator Levin doesn’t see at this time a practical and fair way to hold a “do-over” election in Michigan given the immense financial and logistical hurdles, and in any event believes that a change in course would require acceptance by both candidates.

State party leaders are scrambling to have Michigan’s delegates reinstalled after the Democratic National Committee barred them from the August convention. The state party had moved its primary to January in violation of DNC rules.

Levin has been in the center of the deliberations to resolve the issue, along with other state leaders and representatives of both the Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama presidential campaigns. Levin has not endorsed any candidate.

Although Clinton technically won the Michigan primary, the issue has been highly controversial because Obama’s name was not on the ballot. Instead, Obama supporters were encouraged to mark a vote for “uncommitted,” which earned 40 percent of the vote.

Clinton, who took 55 percent of the tally, has urged the DNC to accept the earlier results, while Obama supporters have demanded a new election.

A state party spokeswoman, Liz Kerr, said Thursday that any final decision would require the acceptance of both presidential candidates. Levin’s statement a day later, however, implies that Clinton’s camp is balking at the idea of another election, leaving state party leaders will little choice but to stay the course.

As things stand, Michigan Democrats will hold district conventions on March 29 to choose delegates for the state’s congressional districts, with the remaining pledged delegates to be chosen by the state party’s Central Committee meeting May 17. Left unresolved, under that scenario, is whether the DNC will allow them votes in August.

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