The Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee meets in Washington on Saturday to try to decide what to do about votes casts months ago in the Michigan and Florida primaries. The states were stripped of their delegates to the DNC after violating party rules by holding early primaries. Now they want their seats back.
Hundreds of delegates are potentially at stake. Hillary Clinton's campaign is looking for what amounts to a "political miracle" to revive her hopes of winning the Democratic presidential nomination. Neither Clinton nor Barack Obama campaigned in either state, and Obama was not even on the ballot in Michigan. Clinton won both contests, and if the 30-member committee allows her to take all the delegates, she would take a big chunk out of Obama's delegate lead, which is about 200.
Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving tells Scott Simon even if she were given the delegates, Obama would still be more than 100 delegates ahead.
Elving says it's not likely the committee would overrule itself and seat all the delegates. However, it is expected that the committee will split the delegates in half and allow delegates from both states to cast half a vote, he says.
"Let's face it: This is a committee under great pressure," he says, "because the party needs these two states in the fall. Michigan is part of the Democratic base now for 20 years. It's absolutely essential to any majority for the Democratic candidate. And Florida, of course, would be the Holy Grail for Democrats trying to break the Republican lock on the Electoral College."
Elving expects that by Wednesday, there will be a "tidal wave" of superdelegate support for Obama. Puerto Rico holds its Democratic primary on June 1. Two days later, Montana and South Dakota hold the last two Democratic presidential primaries.