Presidential campaigns eye upcoming Missouri primary

Political operatives are beginning to trickle into Missouri, and campaign centers are coming to life in preparation for the Missouri primary vote on March 15.

It’s increasingly likely the presidential nominations in both parties will still be in doubt at that time, potentially making Missouri an important stop on the 2016 political calendar. Jonathan Prouty, director of the Missouri GOP, says Missouri is a state with a large delegate prize and high voter interest.

Primaries on March 1 and 8 are likely to eliminate one or more of the so-called GOP establishment candidates — Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — potentially narrowing the field to just three or four candidates on March 15. Private polling shows business mogul Donald Trump has the current lead in Missouri, but that could change in the coming weeks.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the early-book favorite in Missouri. She has the endorsement of most of the party’s hierarchy, including Sen. Claire McCaskill, who has been sharply critical of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ candidacy.

Missouri will have 71 Democratic and 52 Republican convention delegates at stake on March 15, with thirteen more officially unpledged delegates.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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