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The convention credentials committee voted unanimously to restore the voting privileges at the behest of Barack Obama, the party's presumptive nominee for president. The states were initially stripped of delegates for holding primaries before Feb. 5. The party's rules committee restored the delegates in May, but gave them only half votes.
Democrats hope the gesture will strengthen their standing in two important battleground states while ending a contentious chapter of the nominating process.
The ever-shortening primary calendar has already claimed victims in past elections. In 2000, John McCain scored early wins in New Hampshire and Michigan, but then was quickly overwhelmed by George W. Bush, who had more money and a larger organization. In 2004, Howard Dean, who entered the primary season with what looked like Big Mo', had little time to recover from a disappointing performance in the Iowa caucuses and his infamous "scream," allowing John Kerry to coast to the nomination.
While wins in New Hampshire and Iowa can give a candidate plenty of free media, these days that may not be enough to overcome a well-prepared, well-moneyed campaign that has had ads and organization in place for months in all the states with Feb. 5 contests. The wave that Big Mo' requires would not have time to build.