Missouri Primary: Meaningless?

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Issa David | LindenLink contributor

After five states already casting their votes, it will be Missouri’s turn this Tuesday.

The 2012 Republican race to see who gets the presidential nominee is well underway with Iowa opening up the voting season and Utah ending it in late June. However, Missouri Republicans decided to use the caucus process, not the primary that takes places on Tuesday, to vote for a Republican nominee. The state would risk half of its delegates at the August Republican National Convention and disrupt the presidential selection schedule if it went a different route. Therefore, the vote for Republicans will not count. They will vote on March 17 in the caucus.

For the Democrats, it will count, making Tuesday an all-liberal affair. However, it is not a total loss for Republicans. “It will give the nation an idea of how the [race] is going,” said Joyce Pickering, vice-chair for Missouri Republicans in Lincoln County.

This non-binding Republican primary may still be an indicator of how the March 17 vote will go. Alternatively, it may not. “I just think it will be a low turnout,” Pickering said of the expected attendance for Tuesday.

The projected audience for all of Missouri is 20,000. Four years ago, that number was about one million.

Unlike the caucuses, primaries are secret votes and some people think this is the better way to go, “I can’t see any purpose in the caucuses,” Pickering said, “I feel like we should do away with the [them].”

Many people are not fully aware that their vote will go by the wayside when they place a checkmark for the Republicans. In addition, this primary is not cheap to put on. Senate Majority Leader Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles reiterated this point to the Associated Press on October 18, “I do not want to waste $8 million in taxpayer money in a very difficult time in the state’s history in a beauty contest.”