MI primary 'no longer a possibility'

Sen. Hillary Clinton presses for a revote in Michigan on Wednesday at a campaign stop in Detroit.
Sen. Hillary Clinton presses for a revote in Michigan on Wednesday at a campaign stop in Detroit.
Sen. Barack Obama has said he will abide by the plan the Democratic National Committee lays out.
Sen. Barack Obama has said he will abide by the plan the Democratic National Committee lays out.

UPDATE: Governor Granholm Statement on Presidential Primary

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today issued the following statement on the presidential primary:

"I believe Senator Levin, Congresswoman Kilpatrick, National Committeewoman Debbie Dingell, and UAW President Ron Gettelfinger identified the fairest way for Michigan voters to have a voice in seating a delegation in Denver.  They recommended to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) that Michigan hold a state-run, privately funded primary.  I supported their recommendation, as did the DNC, and I am deeply disappointed that it is no longer a possibility.  Now that the Legislature has decided not to act, we will turn our attention to other options.  There is no road to the White House that does not go through Michigan, so it is essential that Michigan voters have a voice in who will be our party's nominee and, ultimately, the next president of the United States."

(CNN) -- Sen. Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House suffered a blow Thursday when Michigan's state Senate adjourned without passing a bill to schedule a new Democratic primary.

Sen. Hillary Clinton presses for a revote in Michigan on Wednesday at a campaign stop in Detroit.

The Senate's inaction makes it nearly impossible that a revote will occur.

Michigan held a primary in January, but the Democratic National Committee stripped the state of its delegates for scheduling the contests too early.

The Clinton camp, in particular, had been pushing for a revote because it believed the New York senator would have done well, and it viewed the revote as an opportunity to narrow the lead that Sen. Barack Obama has built up in the delegate count.

Clinton won the Michigan primary in January with 55 percent of the vote. She was the only major candidate on the ballot. Some 40 percent of Democrats in the state filed ballots declaring themselves "uncommitted."

The legislature is now on recess for two weeks, and by the time lawmakers return, it will probably be too late to approve and organize a new vote before early June, the deadline established by the national Democratic Party.

Clinton and Obama also would have to sign off on any plan. 

The proposal that was under consideration in Michigan called for a revote on June 3.

Obama's camp had expressed concern with the proposal. Under the proposal, Michigan voters wanting to cast ballots in the new primary would have to identify themselves as Democrats and certify that they didn't vote in the state's Republican primary in January.

Michigan usually does not require party identification in primary elections. Some said this requirement is unfair to Democrats who voted in the Republican contest, knowing their party's primary was invalid.

"We support a fair solution that allows Michigan Democrats to participate at our National Convention this summer, and we look forward to working with the Michigan Democratic Party and the DNC to achieve that goal," Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement after the Senate adjourned.

Clinton blamed Obama for holding up the revote. On Wednesday, she challenged Obama to join her in supporting the plan.

"Sen. Obama speaks passionately on the trail about empowering American people. Today, I am urging him to match those words with actions to make sure people of Michigan and Florida have a voice and a vote in this election," Clinton said at a campaign rally in Detroit, Michigan.

"This is a crucial test [for Obama] -- does he mean what he says or not?" Obama said Clinton has been "disingenuous" in her calls for a new primary.

"She said when she was still trying to compete ... for votes in Iowa and New Hampshire that Michigan and Florida wouldn't count," Obama said Wednesday on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."

"Then as soon as she got into trouble politically and it looked like she would have no prospects of winning the nomination without having them count, suddenly she's extraordinarily concerned with the voters there. I understand the politics of it. But let's be clear that it's politics."

A top Michigan Democrat expressed frustration Wednesday with Obama for not embracing the state's proposal.

"The Obama people are blocking it in the Legislature," said the Democratic source, who has not backed either candidate.

The source also said negotiators repeatedly and unsuccessfully have reached out to the campaign for input and cooperation.

The source said that Obama's campaign has been asked to craft an alternative or to meet with the Clinton camp to work out an acceptable compromise, but that those requests have been met with silence.

However, a state senator who supports Obama said supporters of both sides are contributing to the logjam.

Earlier this week, Florida also ruled out the possibility of another primary. The DNC also stripped Florida of it's delegates for holding a primary on January 29.

Two Democratic state senators on Wednesday proposed dividing up the delegates evenly or allocating them proportionally based either on the national popular vote or the national delegate count, excluding Florida and Michigan.

Neither Clinton nor Obama may get enough delegates -- 2,024 -- to clinch the nomination before the national convention in August. Clinton is trailing Obama in delegates -- 1,479 to 1,621.

Posted by LS

CNN contributed to this report.