Officials say Fla., Mich. delegates will get half-votes
Officials say Fla., Mich. delegates will get
By NEDRA PICKLER and BETH FOUHY, Associated Press
Writers 1 minute ago
WASHINGTON - Democratic party officials said a
committee agreed Saturday on a compromise to seat
Michigan and Florida delegates with half-votes after
Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton failed to get
enough support to force their positions through.
The deal was reached after committee members met
privately for more than three hours, trying to hammer
out a deal, and announced in a raucous hearing that
reflected deep divisions within the party. The
sticking point was Michigan, where Obama's name was
not on the ballot.
Clinton's camp insisted Obama shouldn't get any
pledged delegates in Michigan since he chose not to
put his name on the ballot, and she should get 73
pledged delegates with 55 uncommitted. Obama's team
insisted the only fair solution was to split the
pledged delegates in half between the two campaigns,
with 64 each.
The committee agreed on a compromise offered by the
Michigan Democratic Party that would split the
difference, allowing Clinton to take 69 delegates and
Obama 59. Each delegate would get half a vote at the
convention in Denver this summer, according to the
They also agreed to seat the Florida delegation based
on the outcome of the January primary, with 105
pledged delegates for Clinton and 67 for Obama, but
with each delegate getting half a vote as a penalty.
The resolution increased the number of delegates
needed to clinch the nomination to 2,118, leaving
Obama 66 delegates short but still within striking
distance after the three final primaries are held in
the next three days.
Obama picked up a total of 32 delegates in Michigan,
including superdelegates who have already committed,
and 36 in Florida. Clinton picked up 38 in Michigan,
including superdelegates, and 56.5 in Florida.
Obama's total increased to 2,052, and Clinton had
A proposal favored by Clinton that would have fully
seated the Florida delegation fully in accordance with
the January primary went down with 12 votes in support
and 15 against.
Tina Fluornoy, who led Clinton's efforts to seat both
states' delegations with full voting power, said she
was disappointed by the outcome but knew the Clinton
position had "no chance" of passing the committee.
"I understand the rules. ... I can tell you one thing
that has driven these rules was being a party of
inclusion," Fluornoy said. "I wish my colleagues will
The committee unanimously approved a measure supported
by the Obama campaign that sat the delegates according
to Clinton's winning vote in the Florida contest, but
penalized the delegation by allowing each only half a
"We just blew the election!" a woman in the audience
shouted. The crowd was divided between cheering Obama
supporters and booing Clinton supporters.
"This isn't unity! Count all the votes!" another
audience member yelled.
Alice Huffman, a Clinton supporter on the committee,
explained that the compromise was the next best thing
to full seating.
"We will leave here more united than we came," she
Some audience members heckled her in response.
"Lipstick on a pig!" one shouted.