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Dems Urged to Seat Half of Michigan, Florida Delegates

Clinton and Obama are allowed to plead their cases before Democratic National Committee on Saturday.

Lawyers representing the Democratic Party have recommended in a 38-page opinion that only half of the delegates from Florida and Michigan be seated: either half the delegates or all of the delegates with half of a vote. The decision now lies in the hands of the rules committee of the Democratic National Committee, which meets Saturday in Washington, D.C.

Florida and Michigan represent Sen. Hillary Clinton's (D., N.Y.) chances to become the Democratic nominee, and receiving anything short of the full roster of delegates severely limits chances to clinch the nomination. Clinton's argument almost solely rests on winning the popular vote, not a majority of pledged delegates.

To recap the results from those states in January, she beat Sen. Barack Obama (D., Ill.) by 17 points in Florida -- the fourth-largest state in the nation -- and defeated uncommitted voters by 10 points in Michigan after the Obama campaign removed his name from the ballot. It is unclear how many delegates Clinton could gain, but she would gain in the popular vote by 295,000 votes from Florida and 90,000 votes from Michigan.

During a conference call, the Clinton campaign asserted its belief that the delegations must be fully recognized, stating that every vote must count. The Clinton and Obama campaigns will be allowed to present arguments Saturday. The Clinton campaign has called for supporters to protest outside the meeting; Obama's campaign has asked supporters not to protest.

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