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Test your knowledge of the Florida delegate debacle

Eager to give the state more say in the presidential nomination, Florida lawmakers passed a bill a year ago this week moving Florida's primary to Jan. 29, in violation of national party rules. While Florida wound up as the center of the political universe for the Republican primary, Democrats wound up boycotted by candidates, laughed at by Republicans and facing the prospect of having no seats at the national convention.

1. True or false: The Republicans were behind this early primary from the get-go.

2. Who said, "That's not my problem."

A. Marco Rubio

B. Charlie Crist

C. Howard Dean

D. Bill Nelson

3. True or false: DNC rules required Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton to boycott Florida's primary.
4. In 2006, which state objected when the national Democratic Party decreed that only Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina could hold primary contests earlier than Feb. 5, 2008, and that violators would face strict penalties?

A. Michigan

B. New Hampshire

C. Florida

D. Arizona

5. True or false: More voters turned out for Florida's officially meaningless Democratic primary than in the Democratic races in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina combined.

6. Who advocated that Florida hold a revote in order to ensure its say in the nomination?

A. Hillary Rodham Clinton

B. Barack Obama

C. Charlie Crist

D. Howard Dean

7. True or false: Florida Republicans faced no penalty for holding their primary earlier than the national GOP allows.

8. True or false: The Obama and Clinton campaigns are negotiating a compromise deal to ensure Florida winds up with a delegation at the national convention in Denver, Aug. 25-28.

How did you do? Here are the answers.

1. False. The sponsor of the original Florida Senate bill setting an earlier Florida primary was Sen. Jeremy Ring, a freshman Broward County Democrat. Also, Democrats initially dismissed Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean's calls for Democrats not to set a January primary.

2. C. Dean liked the idea of Florida and Michigan holding new elections to comply with national party rules, but brushed off talk that neither state party could afford to pay for another election: "That's not our problem. We need our money to win the presidential race."

3. False. The candidates voluntarily signed oaths not to campaign in states violating the DNC calendar. The oaths were pushed by Democratic leaders in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

4. B. When a special DNC commission set the new schedule, representatives from New Hampshire were the only ones to object. One, Terry Shumaker, was prescient in a 2006 column he wrote about it: "I wonder what the Founding Fathers, who risked their lives and honor for our freedoms, would think of senators and governors aspiring to be president being disciplined by an unelected committee of Washington insiders for making public appearances or speaking to the press?"

5. True. 1.75-million Democrats voted in the Florida primary. Combined vote totals for the other four states are estimated at 1.2-million.

6. A, C and D. Obama's campaign opposed efforts for a revote in Florida, and opposed the idea of a mail-in revote in Florida.

7. False. The Republican National Committee stripped the Florida GOP of half its delegates to the convention, though that did nothing to diminish Florida as a crucial Republican primary battleground.

8. False. The Clinton position is that Jan. 29 should be fully counted, while the Obama position is that Florida's delegates should be split 50/50.

Rate your score

8 correct: You're a DNC rules geek.

5-7 correct: You're an honorary Florida superdelegate who may or may not get a vote.

0-4 correct: You're as confused as most Florida voters.

Adam C. Smith can be reached at asmith@sptimes.com or (727)893-8241.

Test your knowledge of the Florida delegate debacle 04/28/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 9:08am]

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