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Will there be a recount? How was voter turnout? Dissecting Missouri and Illinois’ March 15 primaries

Proposition B asks to voters to allow their local city or county to continue collecting sales tax on cars bought out of state
File photo | St. Louis Public Radio
March 15 is presidential primary day in Missouri and Illinois.

Missouri and Illinois played a surprisingly integral role in the 2016 presidential election.  As of March 16, the day after voters filed into their polling place to choose the Democratic or Republican nominee, no clear winner was declared.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton came out on top by just over 1,500 votes but Bernie Sanders had led the vote tally most of the night.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump defeated Ted Cruz by less than 1,800 votes, but he has not been handed a conclusive victory.

David Robertson, UMSL political science professor.
Credit Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio
David Robertson, UMSL political science professor.

“Missouri is at the crossroads of the nation and at the crossroads of political polarization too,” said UMSL political science professor David Robertson. “Very close results last night.”

On Wednesday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” host Don Marsh held a discussion about primary results and their implications with St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jo Mannies and Robertson. They cleared up some misperceptions about primary voting as well as answered some questions about what could come. For the second part of the segment, Illinois Public Radio’s Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky joined to discuss the primary in the state of Illinois.

In the case of two close races, Mannies said that a recount in a primary is very unlikely. Because the counties have two weeks to count votes and then the state has two weeks to count votes, it could be at least April 15 before a recount could even be called for by a candidate that loses by less than one-half of one percent of all votes. Mannies and Robertson agreed that there are too few delegates at stake, especially as primary season continues across the country, for losing candidates to push for a recount.

More detail on that here: Clinton, Trump apparent victories in Missouri, Illinois promote different messages

Credit Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio
Jo Mannies.

Another point of interest in Missouri was in regard to voter turnout. Mannies said that far more Republicans turned out to vote in the primary than did Democrats. Although the atmosphere of the general election is different than that of primary season, she said that people should still pay attention to that fact.

"The Republican base is particularly whipped up,” she said. “If I was a Democrat, I would be concerned."

Listen to the full discussion for insights on the gender divide over Donald Trump, the likelihood Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee would pick Sanders as a running-mate, and Vinicky’s take on the Illinois primary:

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region. 

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Kelly Moffitt joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2015 as an online producer for St. Louis Public Radio's talk shows St. Louis on the Air.