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Missouri choices narrowing after Super Tuesday votes

There will be considerably fewer options for Missourians to choose from in the Democratic presidential primary next Tuesday. Super Tuesday results further reduced the field.

Posted: Mar 4, 2020 9:45 PM
Updated: Mar 5, 2020 9:10 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) -- Missouri voters were on the sidelines for Super Tuesday voting but they were paying close attention.

That's because the Show Me State primary is next Tuesday. From an original field of more than two dozen Democratic presidential candidates, the field has thinned considerably.

"Either Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden, that's basically where we are," said Melinda Kovacs, political science professor at Missouri Western State University.

On Super Tuesday, Sanders and Biden separated themselves from the rest of the field. Biden won 10 states and captured more than 400 delegates. Sanders was victorious in three states, including delegate-rich California. 

Former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg suspended his campaign on Wednesday. No official word from Elizabeth Warren, though she came up well short of her campaign's expectations in voting in 14 states and American Samoa.

With it now apparently coming down to a two-man race between Sanders and Biden, Kovacs said that the fight is now on for the heart and soul of the Democratic party in Missouri. Will they go for the more progressive Sanders or play it safe with the more moderate Biden?

"In terms of 'Who are democrats in Missouri? Could they be progressive, committed, left-wing of the Democratic party to make Sanders win Missouri, is that possible?' That's possible," Kovacs said.

The one exception that Kovac stresses that could change the election is how involved Republicans want to be in the state's Democratic primary. They'll have that option due to Missouri's open primary system.

"You can be a lifelong Republican and show up next Tuesday and say 'I would like to have a Democratic ballot please,' and strategically vote for the Democrat that President Trump will have the easiest time winning over," Kovacs said.

Regardless of how the vote totals end up, Kovacs says that this 2020 election cycle has already been fascinating to watch.

"It is an amazing time to be a political scientist and it is a nerve-wracking time to be a political scientist," she said. "We all fall victim to trying to predict what is going to happen and then have to eat our words. I don't know what's going to happen."

A planned candidate forum in Kansas City Sunday afternoon has been cancelled. Organizers say the results of Super Tuesay narrowed the field and took away the need for the event.

Sanders has scheduled a campaign rally for Monday at 1 p.m. at the Midland Theater in Kansas City.

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A cold front will push through northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas Sunday morning, bringing strong winds and chilly temperatures with it. These winds will persist into Sunday evening, lingering overnight. Monday morning lows will dip into the low-to-mid 20s with wind chills in the teens. This will make for a chilly commute for the start of the work week.
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