Low turnout expected for 'beauty contest' presidential primary

Only a few more days until the Missouri presidential primary, but this year many voters will likely stay home. 

By Fred Katz (Columbia, Mo.)

The presidential election has already seen three Republican primaries. With New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida down, Missouri is up next. The primary is scheduled for Tuesday, February 7th. But for the first time, this one actually means nothing: Missouri's primary election won’t count for delegates towards the 2012 Republican convention. That means voter turnout could be at an all-time low, according to Norman Lampton, a Missouri GOP committee member.

“I think the turnout will be very low because everybody realizes that it is a beauty contest. Now, some candidates might try to get their people out. In my opinion, the turnout will be extremely low,” said Lampton.

Lampton said he expects only a 10 to 15 percent turnout for registered voters on Tuesday. That’s less than half the amount that Missouri has gotten in past, more competitive presidential primaries. A GOP caucus will be held in Missouri on March 17th.