Prominent Michigan Democrats are scrambling to try to persuade Democratic presidential candidates to reverse their decision to remove themselves from Michigan's presidential primary ballot.

Earlier today, candidates John Edwards, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson and Joe Biden informed the party that they would not participate in its Jan. 15 primary because it violates the Democratic National Committee's calendar rules.

As it stands, a Jan. 15 Michigan Democratic Primary would be little more than a beauty contest, but with a caveat: The Republicans, on that same day, will hold a real contest with real delegates at stake, and it will be a challenge for the media to completely ignore the Democratic contest.

The Democrats were acting in advance of a 4pm ET ballot deadline today. For weeks, Michigan Democrats have kept their heads down, hoping that a lack of overt pressure on the candidates would cause the deadline to float by without incident.

There's been no comment from Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign. She'd be the prohibitive favorite to win the state's primary.

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