Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Missouri Presidential Primary Shifts Back to March Following Nixon Signature

On Wednesday, Governor Jay Nixon (D-MO) signed SB 892 into law. The new law moves the Show Me state presidential primary from the first Tuesday after the first Monday in February to the second Tuesday after the first Monday in March. More importantly -- to a host of actors involved in the presidential nomination process both in Missouri and on the national stage -- the change means Missouri will be compliant with the national parties' delegate selection rules for the 2016 cycle.

Unlike the 2012 cycle, when the Missouri legislature could not make the change in 2011 or eliminate the beauty contest primary in the early days of the 2012 session, Missouri will not have to revert to compliant caucuses or apply for waivers to avoid sanction.

  1.  Missouri has now pulled off the rare midterm year presidential primary move for the second time. The General Assembly first moved the presidential primary to the February position during the 2002 legislative session. It now moves back to March twelve years later, during another midterm year.
  2.  The North Carolina presidential primary -- anchored to South Carolina's -- is now the next biggest obstacle to the national parties getting the preferred primary calendar outlined in the delegate selection rules for 2016. Missouri was an earlier contest than what North Carolina's will likely be (under the North Carolina primary law), but in 2012 at least demonstrated how willing the state parties in the Show Me state were to move into compliance with the national party rules. Still, the Missouri move is a win for the state parties hoping to send a full delegation to the conventions, the national parties hoping for limited queue jumping on the calendar and Missouri voters.
  3. Missouri becomes the third state to move on the 2016 presidential primary calendar this cycle, joining Florida and North Carolina. Both Florida and Missouri pulled back from more provocative calendar positions while North Carolina last year moved into one.
  4. This bill passed the state House on May 5, but was not transmitted to the governor until last Friday, May 30. There was a quick turnaround on the signature once the legislation made it to Governor Nixon's desk.

Recent Posts:
Louisiana House Concurs on 2016 Presidential Primary Move to Early March

Amended Bill Would Bump 2016 Louisiana Presidential Primary Up Two Weeks

RNC Creates New Rule Dealing with Presidential Primary Debates

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