The "beauty contest" nature of Missouri's presidential primary earlier this week may have contributed to the lowest turnout for a presidential primary in the state's history.
Just 8 percent of the state's registered voters cast ballots in the Republican and Democratic primaries. About 252,000 people voted in the GOP race, and 73,000 in the Democratic primary. While the Democratic vote awarded delegates, unlike the Republican contest, President Obama faced no serious opposition.
Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum racked up a sizeable victory in Missouri's Republican primary last night, winning all 114 counties and the city of St. Louis and beating his nearest rival, Mitt Romney, by 30 points. Final unofficial results from the Secretary of State showed Santorum more than doubling Romney's vote total.
Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 10:31 am
For an election that shouldn't matter on paper, Missouri's primary on Tuesday may carry a lot of weight.
The state's Republican electorate tends to be both populist and conservative. That could give former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who has campaigned in Missouri the most — and the most recently — among GOP presidential candidates, the chance for a strong showing.
Turnout is expected to be low for Tuesday's presidential primary. That's partly because the votes for the GOP candidates won't count.
Missouri has gotten little attention from Republican candidates this election year. Newt Gingrich isn't even on the ballot.
The Missouri Republican Party made the decision after the national GOP threatened to cut delegates from states that held their elections before March. Yet the head of Missouri's GOP, Lloyd Smith, is still encouraging voting in the primary.