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Michigan Primary on
Track for Jan.

In the latest move in the battle among states about who gets to pick the president first, the Michigan House of Representatives today approved a bill to hold a primary on Jan. 15 in the state. The Michigan Senate has already approved this move, meaning it could soon be on the desk of Governor Jennifer Granholm, who supports the change.

Michigan's decision puts the state at odds with the Democratic National Committee, which on Sunday sharply rebuked Florida for moving its primary to January 29 and stripped the state of its delegates at next's year convention in Denver. Democratic officials warned they will consider doing the same to Michigan. "We're going to vote it out of order," said Donna Brazile, a DNC member. "It's in clear violation of not just the Democratic primary rules but the Republican primary rules. This is creating havoc in an already messy situation."

Both parties are grappling with this issue. The Republican National Committee has also told states they will eliminate half of their delegates if they vote earlier than the party's schedule has determined, yet this week Wyoming Republicans announced plans to hold a vote on Jan. 5, earlier than Iowa or New Hampshire.

How this will impact the presidential campaigns is unclear. The presidential candidates have so far focused their attention on the states that traditionally vote first, Iowa and New Hampshire, and those states are expected to keep their primaries ahead of others by moving them up from their scheduled dates of Jan. 14 and Jan. 22, respectively. But ignoring a large swing state like Florida or Michigan in the primary may be complicated, even if their votes don't count at the convention.

--Perry Bacon Jr.

By Washington Post editors  |  August 30, 2007; 5:45 PM ET
 
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