Michigan could hold a statewide primary on Jan 15, if a deal reached this morning by top Republicans and Democrats in the state passes muster with state legislators.

Michigan political sources say that Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Sen. Carl Levin are very close to a deal with House Speaker Andy Dillon (D) and Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R). It's not clear whether the state parties are on board, yet, but if the legislature decides to pass a bill changing the primary date, and then Gov. Granholm signs it, there's not much dissidents can do.

As of earlier this week, the prospects for a deal looked dim. The legislature has deadlocked on a bill that would move the official primary date -- Feb. 26 -- much earlier. Both state parties have drafted contingency plans in the event that the legislature and the governor don't agree on an earlier primary. The Dems would probably hold a caucus and the Republicans would probably hold a convention.

What would a Jan. 15 primary mean for the rest of the primary calendar?

One possibility is that the DNC and virtually every other interest in the party gangs up on Michigan and pressures candidates not to compete there. The Republican National Committee has some leverage, but not nearly enough.

Also: If the political world takes Michigan seriously, Iowa might be forced to look at a December date again (despite Gov. Chet Culver's protestations to the contrary) because New Hampshire's Secretary of State would be pressed to set the state's primary in early January.

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