A clash between Florida Democrats and the national party over the primary calendar escalated Friday into a war between the states that threatened to push the presidential candidates toward a Florida boycott.
At issue: Florida's Jan. 29 primary, which violates Democratic National Committee rules that allow only four smaller states to vote that early. Flaunting their protected status, the four states -- Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada -- are urging the Democratic candidates to stay out of rogue territories.
Three contenders, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden and Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, agreed Friday to steer clear of Florida voters.
State Democratic party officials reacted with fury to the power play.
"I don't see how anybody who believes he or she should be president of the United States of America could get tricked into signing a pact to ignore tens of millions of diverse Americans by a selfish, four-state alliance of party insiders,'' said Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman.
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