Obama, Edwards, Richardson, and Biden are all officially off the ballot in Michigan’s January 15 primary, sticking to the first four states sanctioned by the DNC. Hillary’s campaign hasn’t released a statement yet.
The move by the Democrats is politically sound, at least for the primary election. Hillary was leading by double digits in polling, and the candidates signed a pledge not to compete in states breaking DNC rules (namely Michigan and Florida). With no campaigning, it would be nearly impossible for someone to beat Hillary. Withdrawing from the contest lessens the significance of any results out of the Wolverine State.
Concerning the consequences for the general election, it is unclear whether this move will dissuade Michigan voters from voting Democratic. Kerry carried the state’s 17 electoral votes by 3 percent in 2004.
UPDATE: Hillary’s remaining on the ballot, her communications director Howard Wolfson saying, “We will honor the pledge and not campaign or spend money in any state that is not in compliance with the DNC calendar, but it is not necessary to take the steps necessary to remove Senator Clinton’s name from the ballot”. Dodd is also staying in the race in Michigan,