A preview of Missouri's Primary
Tue, 07 Feb 2012 13:27:34 GMT —
Update: 8:00 p.m. Feb. 7.
You can find statewide results by clicking here.
You might be surprised to learn there are eleven republicans and five democrats on Tuesdayâ??s presidential primary ballots in Missouri.
The results do not bind the delegates at the national party conventions.
But both insiders and analysts say the elections Tuesday are not a waste of a voter's time.
In Missouri, the republican ballot still has the names of campaign dropouts Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Perry. It does not have the name of Newt Gingrich, who made the conscious decision not to file in the Show-Me State.
"In some state's it's $10,000 to $15,000 and you have to get ten or fifteen thousand signatures. Here, it's basically a couple of pieces of paper, a $1000 check, and you're on the ballot," MO GOP Executive Director Lloyd Smith said.
By the filing deadline in November, the Gingrich campaign already knew Missouriâ??s primary would not bind the delegates. That happens at party caucuses in March. Caucuses generally favor candidates with the best organization.
"I think you're going to see a lot of activity in our state at the grassroots level," Smith said.
Newt Gingrich is campaigning as the true conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. But Missouriâ??s results could paste that label on someone else.
"Someone like Santorum, who I think will do very well in Missouri because he's a cultural conservative. Remember, Huckabee did well last time," Westminster College Political Scientist Kurt Jefferson said.
Santorum certainly thinks so, which is why he has spent time here when no one else has.
"It'll be interesting to see how well we do here in light of that. And, if we do exceptionally well, it shows that, in fact, we are the candidate to go up against governor Romney as the conservative candidate in the race," GOP Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum said.
Still, the Secretary of State predicts a voter turnout of only about 23-percent, barely two-thirds of the people who voted in 2008. Robin Carnahan is among those who favor a series of four regional primaries, a collection of â??Super Tuesday" elections that would rotate on the schedule every four years, to give each region a chance to be first.
"I think, in the end, it will matter. It's going to matter in the public opinion about what happens. And, quite frankly, I think it'll put some pressure on the political parties to do the right thing and use those results to bind their delegates," MO Secretary of State Robin Carnahan said.
Republican officials won't go there, but still think people should take the time to vote in the primary.
"In some cases, like right here in Jefferson City, there are other things on the ballot that day that ought to encourage people to go to the local polls, make their preference known," Smith said.
One of those is in Jefferson City, where voters will consider the "Transform Jefferson City" tax question.
The polls open Tuesday at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.