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Fact Checking the Michigan and Florida Spin

Roger Simon has a piece up on The Politico on the five options available to Dems to solve the mess that is Florida and Michigan.  An excerpt::

2. The Kumbaya Option: Can’t we all just get along? Let’s seat Michigan and Florida the way the voters voted, and if this helps Clinton, that’s the way the nomination crumbles. The major problem with this, however, is that neither primary was exactly normal. Clinton was the only person on the Michigan ballot, and all the candidates agreed not to campaign in Florida.

This is not exactly true, but it’s what you’re hearing, especially from Obama supporters.  The fact is that Barack Obama, Bill Richardson and John Edwards asked to have their names taken off of the Michigan ballot.  Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel and Chris Dodd all remained on the ballot and received votes in the primary.
The agreement between the Dems was that they wouldn’t campaign or spend money in Florida and Michigan, it never was that the candidates would not run in these states.  I really wasn’t paying attention to all of this back in January and never asked, until now, why did Edwards and Obama voluntarilly pull out of Michigan but not Florida? 
According to this left-leaning blog post, the move to pull out of Michigan by Obama, Richardson and Edwards was entirely a politcal decision in an effort to boost their standing in Nevada and hurt Clinton’s.  The reason that they didn’t pull out of Florida is that Florida would have required them to leave the race completely, which neither wanted to do.
I also wonder how big a deal Florida and Michigan really are.  Hillary received 50 percent of the vote in Florida and 55 percent in Michigan.  With proportioanl representation, I’m not sure either state makes a huge difference.


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