Missouri Presidential Caucus


The following question was asked and answered:

How come the March 17 caucus date is not on the election calendar?

The calendar is for election dates that are set in the statutes. The caucus dates are set by the political party and are party run.

We received the following question, among others, regarding a Missouri Caucus versus a Missouri Primary at the Cape County Tea Party (CCTP):

[D]o you have any legal sources who could advise on what effect, if any, the move to the caucus system will have on primary contests below the Presidential level?  Does this mean that other state and federal offices will also have primary contests settled in the caucuses?  That could be interesting.

We sent out a request for information to the member of the CCTP and received very informative responses:

Jason Crowell (Tuesday October 11, 2011)

In my opinion it is being done so the establishment GOP can have more control over the process and the people… ….and of course raise filing fees from 1,000 to 10,000 dollars.

Jason Crowell (Thursday October 13, 2011)

I don’t want to be a caucus state. I am opposed to that. Missouri’s primary has been in February; it was 4 years ago, and in my opinion [should] remain there. Just because the national RNC wants us to do as they say is no reason to change. Especially when other states like Florida, Nevada and Arizona to name just a few refuse to bow to party establishment rules. Lloyd Smith is wrong and just being the establishment’s pet boy so he can stay in a nicer hotel room in Miami. I will not put Missouri second to national RNC rules that make no since; others states won’t follow and put Missouri into a second class status in selecting a president.

Jason Crowell (Friday October 14, 2011)

There was no vote on having Missouri Caucus for the primary election – that was done unilaterally by the Missouri Republican Party and Mr. Lloyd Smith – I oppose the caucus.

As for if we can rescind the decision; I have no power to do so – the republican party of Missouri has said that it is more important to it that the RNC rules are followed than giving Missouri a voice.  The Republican party and, specifically, Mr. Lloyd Smith has said that no matter what in order to ensure that national party boss demands on timing of a Missouri election are followed instead of Missourians voices heard on the matter he and it will not follow the results of the election even if it is held.

How you like that?

Patrick Werner (Monday, October 24, 2011)

The other state and federal races in MO will have their normal primary schedule in Aug separate from how the presidential primary is conducted.

Donna Lichtenegger (Monday, October 24, 2011)

About 10 yrs ago, we had an election that voted in the primaries. We felt that this would encourage more people to be involved in the process. Interestingly enough; many County Clerks have told me that the elections only brought out about 12-13% of the voters. That’s basically the same as when we did Caucus. So although it sounds like we are losing our voice, we really aren’t. If you are a registered Rep or Dem you can go to that caucus in your county on March 17. I you or anyone else would like me to come and speak on this issue I would be happy to do so. This caucus system is ONLY for Presidential –  not any other races. Also, the caucus place and time will be posted in the newspaper and hopefully on the radio news. Hope this info; although brief; is helpful.

Joseph V. Merkler (Monday, October 24, 2011)

Missouri [had] just become a primary state within the last few years. In 1996, I was an alternate delegate to the convention in Springfield, MO. The caucus system was how I became involved in politics. I learned how it works — whoever can get the most people to show up in favor of one candidate or another can control who will get the party nomination. 

Jason Crowell (Monday, October 24, 2011)

The decision to use a caucus this year for the Presidential Primary should not have any effect on other elections.  Missouri Revised Statute Section 115.339 requires candidates for elective office to be nominated at the primary election.  Since the office of the President is not elected by popular vote as state officials and representatives in Congress are, the parties retain control over how its delegates are chosen for that office.  As such, using a caucus instead of a primary for the state and federal offices would probably not constitute a popular vote for those offices and violate both the U.S. Constitution (with respect to federal offices) and state law (with respect to candidates for elective state offices).

Let me know if I can be of further assistance.


About bbollmann
A Missouri Conservative who like to rock... ...especially to the great music of Rush!

One Response to Missouri Presidential Caucus

  1. Pingback: Primaries and Cacuses, What’s the difference? « The Sexy Politico's Blog

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