Missouri Republicans will award 24 presidential delegates at Saturday's caucuses
Missouri Republicans will gather Saturday morning for Round Two of their presidential caucuses. And unlike Round One, this time they really will award presidential delegates.
At stake on Saturday will be 24 of Missouri’s 52 delegates to the August presidential convention in Tampa, Fla. The rest will be selected during the state convention in June in Springfield, Mo.
There will only be eight caucus gatherings on Saturday, each in a different congressional district. Most of the eight caucus sessions will begin at 10 a.m. For the St. Louis area, the 1st District gathering will be at St. Louis Community College’s Forest Park location, while the 2nd District caucus will be held in the cafeteria at Lindbergh High School.
With the field of presidential contenders narrowed, the major question on Saturday will be how many presidential delegates may be pledged to renegade GOP hopeful Ron Paul, who has a large contingent of young party supporters.
Paul’s allies had succeeded in taking over several caucus gatherings during the first sessions held mainly in March (and April 10 in St. Charles County). As a result, Paul sympathizers were elected to several slates of attendees for Saturday’s congressional-district meetings – putting them in a strong position to vote for presidential delegates who support Paul.
Most of the other voting members at Saturday’s caucuses are expected to support delegates for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, especially since former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania – a favorite among Missouri social conservatives – recently dropped out.
Saturday’s congressional-district caucuses also will illustrate something else – the reduced clout of the St. Louis area under the redrawn boundary maps.
The state is losing a congressional district as of 2013, down to eight from the current 9. But the first effect will be felt with this fall’s presidential contest, where delegate selection – and electoral votes – will be based on the new districts, not the old.
The St. Louis area long has had three of the state’s nine congressional districts, but will have only two of the remaining eight. That’s why only two of Saturday’s congressional-district caucus meetings will be held in the St. Louis area.
The current 3rd District also long has taken in part of the St. Louis area. The new 3rd District includes a portion of Franklin and St. Charles counties, but also spans west into central Missouri.
Saturday’s 3rd District caucus will be held in Hermann, Mo.