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All eyes on Missouri voters following Super Tuesday results

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Posted at 10:26 AM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 11:26:29-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri will play a big role in who gets the Democratic presidential nomination for 2020.

The state is one of just six that will take to the polls in the immediate wake of Super Tuesday. Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota and Washington will also let their voices be heard on March 10.

The days leading up to and immediately after Super Tuesday saw several popular candidates exit the race.

Billionaire Tom Steyer dropped out of the race on Saturday in the wake of a disappointing South Carolina primary.

Hopefuls Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the race on Sunday and Monday respectively, endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden as they exited.

Those endorsements likely led to an outstanding performance for Biden in Super Tuesday races, earning him the majority of delegates in 10 of the 14 states that took to the polls. Bernie Sanders took the other four states, including a hefty number of delegates from California.

Biden sat at 512 delegates as of Thursday morning, and Sanders at 441.

After results rolled in, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced he suspended his campaign on Wednesday, earning just 53 delegates overall as of Thursday morning.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren also earned 53 delegates, and even came in fourth in the polls in her home state of Massachusetts. She ended her campaign on Thursday morning after those disappointing results.

Tulsi Gabbard was awarded one delegate as of Thursday morning, according to Politico.

The statewide delegates that the candidates who dropped out would have won will likely be divided amongst the remaining candidates proportionally, according to Politico. District-level delegates that were awarded will be able to vote for whichever delegate they choose come convention time.

The complication of what to do with delegates belonging to candidates who dropped only becomes important if one of the front runners fails to obtain 1,991 delegates on their own in order to be nominated.

Missouri and the other five states with voters heading to the polls will have three Democratic candidates to choose from: Biden, Sanders and Gabbard.

Being the first to hit the polls after the sudden loss of popular candidates means Missouri will be one of the first states to really demonstrate who voters hope will be the Democratic presidential nominee.

There are still 284 delegates up for grabs, and Biden and Sanders will have to work hard to win in the states voting this upcoming Tuesday.

Of those 284 delegates, 78 belong to Missouri.

Because the race is so heated post-Super Tuesday, both leading candidates have announced stops in Kansas City to try and earn the votes of Missouri Democrats.

Biden will be at the National WWI Museum and Memorial on Saturday, and Sanders will be at the Midland Theatre on Monday.

The trips were planned after Super Tuesday results, meaning both leading Democratic candidates see Missouri as an important state to win on Tuesday.

Hillary Clinton won Missouri by a very slim margin in the 2016 Democratic Primary, earning 49.6 percent of the vote and 36 delegates. Sanders won 49.4 percent of the vote and 35 delegates that year.

In the 2008 Democratic Primary, Barack Obama won 49.3 percent of Missouri votes and 36 delegates. Clinton tied him with 47.9 percent of Democratic votes and 36 delegates.

Though both the 2008 and 2016 Democratic Primaries were very close, Missouri voters accurately predicted who would win the Democratic nomination for president. Obama won the 2008 nomination and went on to become president, and Clinton won the 2016 nomination and faced off against President Donald Trump in the general election.

Biden and Sanders are likely taking note that Missouri is an accurate predictor, and that is why they are focusing on the state ahead of Tuesday's round of primary voting.

There is one issue with the narrowed field and Missouri's role in deciding who will face President Trump in November: The ballots were printed before all of the candidates ended their campaigns.

Many absentee voters had already cast their ballots, and those cannot be changed.

Those are the same ballots that Missouri voters will see at the polls Tuesday, with many eliminated candidates listed. That means voters can theoretically choose candidates that are no longer in the race. The same thing happened in Super Tuesday states, with Steyer, Buttigieg and Klobuchar still earning votes.

Missouri voters will have to be aware that their vote for one of the eliminated candidates won't do much good, and will have to know who the three remaining candidates are in order to cast an effective vote.

The Democratic Convention takes place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in mid-July. That is where election results will help determine who Democrats choose to represent them on the November ballot.