No News For Santorum Out of Missouri

The next jaunt on the wild Republican roller-coaster is this weekend. Missouri voters head to their local polling locations for the second time this cycle. They first expressed themselves back in early February in a nonbinding primary, a vote won by Rick Santorum but that has no bearing on the delegates that will be sent to Tampa this summer. Missourians vote once again tomorrow, this time in caucuses that will eventually, down the line, help select who is sent to the GOP convention, and by extension, whether the state votes for Santorum or Mitt Romney.

Like every caucus, the local meetings held tomorrow are nonbinding. Delegates elected from those meetings are sent on to the district convention. The actual Republican delegates are later selected at the state convention (that's for the statewide delegates, ones representing the various Congressional districts are selected at a separate meeting). That's not too different from how Iowa or other caucus states have worked thus far. But those states have included an unofficial straw poll alongside the local meetings, the theory being that those results will ultimately coincide with how each caucus selects its delegates. As TPM noticed, Missouri doesn't do that, so there won't be any new results to report out of Missouri tomorrow night. While it's safe to assume Santorum's previous success last time will translate to the caucus vote, he won't be able to tout any new victories. Instead, the only quantifiable vote this weekend will be Puerto Rico, a caucus Romney was expected to win even before Santorum went on a screed about how it was a lesser part of the U.S. because its residents don't uniformly speak English.

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