DETROIT - With Democrats locked in a tight race for their party's presidential nomination, Michigan activists hope their delegates will play an election role after all.
After the Wolverine State moved up its primary in violation of the Democratic National Committee rules, the DNC said it would not seat Michigan delegates at the national convention in August, when the party's nominee is chosen.
"It's clear that no one thought the race would be this competitive at this point," Democratic activist Debbie Dingell, wife of Rep. John Dingell and a key supporter of the state's move to an early primary, told The Detroit News. "There's going to be a lot of intensive discussion and dialogue."
Some analysts predict that without the Michigan delegates and those from Florida, which is also being punished for moving up its primary, neither of the party's two candidates -- Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., nor Barack Obama,D-Ill. -- will have the delegates necessary to become the nominee.
Joel Ferguson, a Michigan State University trustee, Democratic National Committee member and Clinton supporter, told the newspaper "there's going to be a fight" over seating the delegates.
"I don't think it's automatic that we're going to be seated," he said.
© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.