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.
A very contentious special legislative session ended with a whimper in Jefferson City this week. It was dominated by seven weeks of head-butting over a wide-ranging tax credit bill that in the end boiled down to a long-running battle between the Missouri House and Senate over whether tax credits should have expiration dates. St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin takes a closer look at what happened.
Missouri House leaders will now attempt to get rid of the state’s presidential primary and replace it with party caucuses. A similar move fell short in the Missouri Senate.
Some Senate Republicans tried and failed Monday night to swap out the bill to move the primary from February to March with one that would have replaced it with caucuses. Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller (R, Willard) has filed a new bill in the House that would do the same thing.
An attempt to replace Missouri’s presidential primary with statewide caucuses has failed in the State Senate, meaning the February 7th Democratic and Republican primaries will go on as scheduled.
Before the vote, some amendments were offered, including one that would have moved the primary forward to January. None of them passed, but they reflected efforts by several Republicans to preserve the state's primary. State Senator Eric Schmitt (R, Glendale) said that caucuses result in fewer people having a say in who they want for president.
The Missouri Republican Party announced last month that it would use county-wide caucuses to select its delegates for next year’s national convention, and that the primary would be nothing more than a “beauty contest.”