What Will Happen To Florida And Michigan?

It remains to be seen whether the gamble made by the Democratic Party officials in Michigan and Florida will pay off. Viewed through one lens, the delegate penalties were a tactical boon to Barack Obama’s campaign, giving him an excuse not to campaign in two major states whose demographics were more favorable to other candidates.

But in Florida last Tuesday, more than 1.5 million Democrats voted, and only Hillary Clinton flew down to accept a “victory.” The DNC’s credentials committee meets this summer, probably in July, and it is not clear which candidate’s representatives will be in control: the committee’s seats are allocated through a formula linked to the candidate’s performances in the states. If the committee winds up being controlled by Hillary Clinton – if, that is, she has a delegate lead in July, the Florida and Michigan delegations will be credentialed.

But if Barack Obama controls the credentials committee, and his committee is given the opportunity to deny Hillary Clinton delegates from Michigan and Florida that could put her over the top – that’s his prerogative.

But But -- here is what might happen instead.

The DNC will sanction new contests, probably caucuses.

The Clinton will protest vociferously. Caucus? CAUCUS?

There will be a big debate.

The outcome is in doubt.

(Yes, this is all legal. Rick Hasen explains why.)