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Special report
DNC leaders in 2006 painstakingly crafted a schedule primary schedule that allowed only four states - Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina - to hold elections earlier than Feb. 5. The idea, an Florida Democrats supported it at the time, was to have add some diversity to the process, while trying to maintain some control.

But Florida lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans alike, wanted their state to have more influence in the nomination and went ahead and scheduled the primary for Jan. 29. Many assumed the DNC would never strictly punish such a politically important state and that delegates don't matter much anyway.

Wrong on both counts. Now the national and state parties, and the candidates are trying to dig themselves out of this mess.

[AP photo]

From the Times
Special reports

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[Chris Zuppa | Times]
Florida Democrats frequently argued that in a majority Republican Legislature, they did not have enough votes to stop the change in the primary date. Yet Sen. Steven Geller was seen on the floor of the Legislature in April mocking the DNC's threat of sanctions.
Watch the video.

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[AP photo]
Times Political Editor Adam Smith sat down with Sen. Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail. His question for her: What role do the candidates play in solving Florida's scramble to seat delegates at the national Democratic convention?
Hear her interview

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[iStockphoto]
Things may be looking up for Florida Democrats. But it has been a long road fraught with politics to get to this point. See how much you remember about Florida's Democratic delegate fracas.
Take the quiz
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