Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 2:22 pm
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.