Tags: Trump Administration | US | 2016 | Election | Missouri

Clinton, Trump Lead in Missouri by Slim Margins

Image: Clinton, Trump Lead in Missouri by Slim Margins

Wednesday, 16 Mar 2016 04:37 PM

 Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump clung to slim advantages over their challengers in Missouri's presidential primaries following victories in several other pivotal states that bolstered their standing as national front-runners.

With all precincts reporting results Wednesday, former Secretary of State Clinton led Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by 1,531 votes. Trump, the billionaire businessman, led Texas Sen. Ted Cruz by 1,726 votes.

That amounts to a 0.2 percentage point lead for both Clinton and Trump — the closest races in any of Tuesday's five primary states.

Under Missouri law, candidates can request a recount if they lose by less than one-half of a percentage point. Neither Sanders nor Cruz has said whether he will ask for a recount. As such, The Associated Press has not declared a winner in either Missouri race.

Missouri's vote totals are likely to change at least slightly in the coming days as local election clerks determine whether to count provisional ballots and accept absentee ballots from overseas voters. It could take up to a month before the results are officially certified by the secretary of state's office. Losing candidates then have another week to request a recount.

Because of the way Missouri's delegates are allotted, the Republican winner of the statewide vote stands to gain more than the Democratic victor.

Missouri's 71 delegates to the Democratic National Convention will be awarded proportionally based on the votes candidates received statewide and in each of the state's eight congressional districts. As of Wednesday afternoon, Sanders had won 32 Missouri delegates, and Clinton 31, with eight delegates remaining to be allocated.

Of Missouri's 52 Republican delegates, 12 will go to the top statewide vote-getter. The rest will be awarded in chunks of five to the winners in each of the state's congressional districts. As of Wednesday afternoon, Trump had won 25 district delegates and Cruz had won five, with two districts yet to be determined. In both of those districts, Cruz appeared to have slightly more votes.

Missouri Republican Party Chairman John Hancock said the divisions in Missouri are emblematic of the national split between GOP voters who want a "committed conservative candidate like Ted Cruz" and those who want somebody "completely outside the Republican establishment, represented by Donald Trump."

"If we are to have a hope — an expectation of reclaiming the White House in November — healing is the only option on the table," Hancock said.

Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Roy Temple said he doesn't expect there to be a recount of Missouri's Democratic votes. That's because Missouri's proportional allocation would divide its delegates fairly evenly, regardless of the outcome of a recount. Ultimately, it would not make much of a difference in Clinton's national delegate lead.

"The highest conceivable gain is, like, four delegates, which I guess if you thought it was going to be that close, you'd fight over," Temple said. "But that's kind of unimaginable to me that this thing would play out that close" nationally, he said.

Nearly 1.6 million votes were cast in Missouri — a 39 percent voter turnout that broke the previous high mark for a presidential primary of 36 percent, which was set in 2008.

 

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
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Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump clung to slim advantages over their challengers in Missouri's presidential primaries following victories in several other pivotal states that bolstered their standing as national front-runners.With all precincts reporting...
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Wednesday, 16 Mar 2016 04:37 PM
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