The DNC is using that influence to try to reclaim control of the calendar. On Saturday, the party's rules and bylaws committee will meet in Washington to review states' plans for the primaries -- and dole out punishment to states that are trying to jump the line.
Michigan's latest plan will not be considered Saturday, since the new primary date won't be enshrined into law in time. But the DNC panel is expected to rule that Florida's date violates party rules. The national party will likely threaten to strip the Sunshine State of more than half of its delegates -- and could also prevent candidates who campaign in Florida from receiving any of the state's delegates.
Democratic Party officials say they will do their best to preserve the calendar they developed that gives special, early treatment to Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina -- states that were chosen after a yearlong process where many other states applied for early-voting status.
"We want to preserve the integrity of the process. Everybody got a chance to participate in it, and those who chose to participate did so," Tina Flournoy, an assistant to president of the American Federation of Teachers and a member of the DNC's rules and bylaws panel. "We didn't sit around a room on our own and make these decisions. We really took our time to develop a process."
The DNC is trying to convince Florida to make its primary nonbinding and instead choose convention delegates some other way -- by mail-in votes, state convention, or county-level caucuses, for instance.
Brazile said party officials want to Florida to choose delegates Feb. 5 or later -- thus preserving earlier dates for only the four states designated by the DNC. That way, she said, officials may be able to convince Michigan to scrap its plan for an early date.
If something isn't done, she said, many voters will find the chaotic, early voting to be an excuse to stay home.
"We have a bad case of states' envy," Brazile said. "And it's the voters who will be impacted. You'll see a revolt on your hands like you've never seen before."