DETROIT — Michigan’s early primary, Jan. 15, was set to force candidates to pay attention to the state’s economic crisis. That was the intent; the result was something different. Because Michigan jumped the gun and held an early primary, the national Democratic Party said no delegates would be counted, no Democratic candidates (except for Dennis Kucinich) campaigned here and only Clinton and Kucinich were on the ballot. It is certain there will be future discussions between state and national Democratic leaders to determine the final outcome of the state’s Democratic delegates.

Michigan residents missed out on the excitement of earlier primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire, and the turnout suffered — only 600,000 Democrats turned out. Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary with 55 percent of the vote, and “uncommitted” (a vote for Edwards or Obama) got the nod of almost 40 percent. Kucinich, while drawing good crowds at several of his stops, did not receive enough votes to qualify for delegates.

Even though the Republican ballot was full and their candidates came here, the Republican turnout wasn’t all that great either — only 900,000 voted. Could it be that their candidates, while appearing in the state, brought no solutions to ease the economic crisis for working people?

The labor movement, preparing for an attempt by anti-labor forces to begin petitioning to place “right-to-work” — for less — on the November ballot, organized 4,000 trade unionists and supporters to be at the polls to warn people before they sign. On the positive side, forces for a state health care ballot initiative were also at polls collecting signatures.

jrummel @ pww.org

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