EDITORIAL: State’s Primary concerns

NW Staff

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, Michigan Democrats attempted to choose their candidate for the next President of the United States — well, sort of.

It was only a primary election. And since Michigan moved its primary date up two weeks, an action that was against Democratic party rules, two candidates removed themselves from the ballot: John Edwards and Barack Obama. (At least that way, people can accuse them of being inexperienced, but not of being rule-breakers.) People who wanted to vote for either of them were urged to vote for Uncommitted; essentially a vote for no one.

After Michigan moved its primary date up two weeks in order to keep up with the Joneses-states of Iowa, New Hampshire and Wyoming (only the latter if you’re a Republican), both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions responded by stripping the state of delegates.

As of now, Michigan isn’t going to be able to send any delegates to the Democratic National Convention in August, and only half of its delegates will be attending the Republican Convention.

In short, the primary didn’t have an immediate impact on the election for left-wingers in the Great Lakes state. Instead, it was more of a muddied mess, as Hillary Clinton defeated Uncommitted by a margin of 15 points, 48 to 33 percent. Members of Clinton’s political team considered an outcome of less than 60 percent of the polls as a loss for her campaign.

The real importance of the election was that, given its early date in the voting process, the Michigan primary shed light on the economic woes of a troubled industry before Super Tuesday, when more than 20 states will go to the polls and cast their votes.

The American auto industry has been ailing for years, and the federal government has done little to help. Jobs continue to be outsourced and automakers continue to manufacture their products elsewhere.

Michigan citizens continue to pick up the pieces of what was once the dominating aspect of the state’s economy. Thousands of manufacturing jobs have evaporated, leaving the state with a 7.4 percent unemployment rate, the highest in the nation.

The earlier election date will cause the state to have less of an impact during this year’s Republican and Democratic party conventions, but the issues that plague Michigan have now become talking points for nearly all of the presidential candidates. Maybe, if only for just a moment, the status of Michigan’s floundering economy will be viewed with the importance it deserves.