Party caucuses that award delegates on a winner-take-all basis in Missouri will be in March, but Tuesday's Republican primary remained on the calendar even though it's a no-delegate event.
The Secretary of State's office, which oversees election matters, said the primary would go on as scheduled, despite criticism about the cost to the state after being stripped of value.
In trying to comply with Republican National Committee rules so the state could keep its 52 delegates, the Missouri Republican Party sought last year to move its February primary to a later date. The Missouri Legislature tried twice to do so, only to see one effort vetoed by the governor and the second attempt pass the House but die in the Senate, leaving a presidential preference primary the only option to guarantee Missouri's delegate count.
Shane Schoeller, a candidate for Missouri Secretary of State and current House speaker pro tem, sponsored the legislation that failed to advance in the Senate.
"Ideally, the legislature would have moved the primary and allowed the people to make their voices heard in the primary process," Schoeller told LakeNewsOnline.com. "Last year, we worked to move the primary, but the legislation did not make it to the governor's desk. That left us in a situation where we have a potential $8 million straw poll that fails to ensure a presidential nominee.
So, who cares about Tuesday's beauty contest?
For one, Rick Santorum's campaign because the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are the only major candidates on the ballot. Santorum's advisers told CNN they consider the vote a chance to demonstrate his viability against front-runner Romney.
"What we want to do is to show moderate Romney versus conservative Santorum," said John Brabender, a senior adviser to Santorum. "Newt Gingrich had his shot to take out Mitt Romney as the alternative, and he failed because the problem is he doesn't have the conservative credentials to do it."
While the Show-Me State's Republican establishment is aligned with Romney, social conservatives -- Santorum's base -- are a dominant factor in state politics.
Matt Teter, Missouri Democratic Party executive director, said he still believes in the primary process and criticized the Republicans, the Christian County Headliner News in Ozark reported.
"The Democratic Party will respect the Feb. 7 primary and allocate its delegates based on the results," he said. "Although there isn't much doubt about who the Democrats will nominate [President Obama], we respect the state primary election because it encourages the most Missourians possible to have their votes counted in the nominating process. On the other hand, the Missouri Republican Party plans to ignore the votes cast on primary day and instead, they'll let a handful of insiders gather in March to decide which presidential candidate they'll support at convention."
|Additional U.S. News Stories|
WASHINGTON, June 18 (UPI) --General Motors said it would recall 231,000 model year 2006-07 vehicles due to a short in the driver's door that could spontaneously cause a fire.