Presidential Primary | St. Louis Public Radio

Presidential Primary

Proposition B asks to voters to allow their local city or county to continue collecting sales tax on cars bought out of state
File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri and Illinois played a surprisingly integral role in the 2016 presidential election.  As of March 16, the day after voters filed into their polling place to choose the Democratic or Republican nominee, no clear winner was declared.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton came out on top by just over 1,500 votes but Bernie Sanders had led the vote tally most of the night.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump defeated Ted Cruz by less than 1,800 votes, but he has not been handed a conclusive victory.

Cruz told the crowd he thought the election would come down to issues of jobs, freedom, and security
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz held a rally at Parkway West High School one day after protests interrupted  Donald Trump yesterday in St. Louis and caused the New York businessman to cancel a gathering in Chicago.

Before taking the stage, Cruz blamed most of that disruption on forces outside the Republican Party.

Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Before renewing her promises to bolster the nation’s economy, Hillary Clinton first launched Saturday into a fiery condemnation of those she said were out to destroy it.

“The ugly, divisive rhetoric that we are hearing from Donald Trump and the encouragement that he has given to violence and aggressiveness is not only wrong, it’s dangerous, my friends,’’ declared the Democratic presidential contender, touching off deafening cheers from the crowd packing the Carpenters’ union training facility in Affton.

presidential candidates 2016

With Missouri’s presidential primary just four months away, the state’s Republicans are already pumped up.

And Missouri Democrats are hoping to follow suit.

Ed Martin
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies chat with Eagle Forum president Ed Martin about the wide open race for the Republican presidential nomination.

voxefxtm | Flickr

Missouri’s chaotic history with presidential primaries may finally be settled, now that Gov. Jay Nixon has signed into law a measure that sets the state’s presidential primary date in March.

Under the new law, Missouri’s once-every-four-years primary would be held on the second Tuesday after the first Monday. In 2016, that date would be March 15 – the first day allowed by the two national political parties without incurring penalties.

Primary voter turnout lowest ever in Mo.

Feb 10, 2012
(via Flickr/tastybit)

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 8, 2012 - Updated with projected Santorum victory. Voter turnout appears to have been even lower than expected today in Missouri's presidential primary.

"If we hit 5 percent, we'll be doing good," said St. Louis County Democratic elections director Rita Days. That's only a quarter of what she had predicted last week. "It's a little discouraging."

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

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.

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.

Morning headlines: Monday, February 6, 2012

Feb 6, 2012
(via Flickr/ Daniel Morrison)

Missouri's presidential primary tomorrow

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.

House website

Representative Rick Stream (R-Kirkwood) says Tuesday’s GOP presidential primary election may not be as pointless as some think.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 20, 2012 - With only a few day until the Missouri primary, there has been plenty of discussion regarding the differences between primaries and caucuses.

Primaries are carried out in a way that is very similar to general elections. The voter enters the voting booth, casts a vote, and is then free to leave the polling place. In contrast, caucuses require a much longer time commitment, and in today's fast-paced world, time is something there never seems to be enough of.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 20, 2012 - With the repeated failure of any non-Mitt to win the hearts and minds of Republicans, it looks as though Romney will be the standard-bearer for the GOP. in the general election. All eyes are on now the South Carolina primary, which looks to be the last chance for Paul, Santorum or Gingrich to make their case to Republicans.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 16, 2012 - Before leaving on his trade trip to Indonesia, former Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo., expressed his view that binding presidential primaries are preferable to caucuses.

Bond's observations were made in the context of the decision by Missouri Republican leaders to ignore the results of Missouri's Feb. 7 presidential primary.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 11, 2012 - WASHINGTON - Four years ago, former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent was at the candidate's headquarters in New Hampshire when Mitt Romney's high hopes for the GOP presidential nomination were dashed by a loss to Sen. John McCain.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 4, 2012 - The Iowa caucus' photo finish between GOP presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum could foretell a protracted Republican battle between its social-issue and fiscal wings that could, in turn, make Missouri's caucus and Illinois' primary -- both in March -- significant players in determining the final outcome.

Then again, maybe not.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 1, 2011 - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney rolled out dozens of endorsements today from prominent Missouri Republicans, including many moderates as well as conservatives.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 22, 2011 - For all the Missouri Republican Party talk downplaying the importance of the state's Feb. 7 presidential primary, all but one of the Republican contenders opted to file their candidacies anyway -- and will appear on the ballot.

The sole exception: former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

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.