With two weeks to go until the filing deadline, seven announced Republicans candidates for president have yet to file for a place on Missouri’s March primary ballot.
That’s half the GOP field.
Less well-known candidates like Jim Gilmore, George Pataki, and Lindsay Graham have yet to file. That isn’t a big surprise — none has yet made the main stage for a GOP debate.
But the list of candidates who haven’t filed in Missouri includes better-known hopefuls Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and John Kasich.
It isn’t clear if those candidates will sign up before the Dec. 29 deadline to qualify for the March 15 primary in Missouri. Some campaigns may have made a decision to invest fewer resources in Missouri: Ted Cruz, who has signed up, will be the strong favorite in the state. Missouri consultant Jeff Roe is the campaign manager for Cruz.
Other filed candidates include Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum, who won Missouri’s non-binding primary in 2012.
Missouri’s 2016 GOP presidential primary will allocate convention delegates on a modified winner-take-all basis. If a candidate wins 50 percent of the primary votes in the state, he or she will win all 52 Missouri convention delegates. If a candidate fails to win that majority, though, delegates will be awarded by congressional district — five delegates awarded to the winner in each district.
The statewide winner would get an additional nine delegates. Three superdelegates will remain unpledged.
The modified rules suggest candidates like Rubio and Trump might make a play for part of Missouri. If Cruz can be limited to less than 50 percent of the statewide vote, they could land a handful of delegates from the state.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have signed up for Missouri’s Democratic presidential primary. Martin O’Malley has not.