St. Louis (KSDK) - Nothing more than a "beauty contest." That's how candidates see Missouri's State's February 7th presidential primary. But there is a small chance they could still find the contest attractive.
"We matter. But, we don't matter too much and we're not going to see too much of the candidates," in part, says KSDK Political Analyst Dave Robertson, because Missouri's primary votes won't count.
With the exception of just a few states, the Republican National Committee changed its rules, requiring states to move their primaries back to March or face losing delegates at the national convention.
In Jefferson City, lawmakers and the Governor were unable to move Missouri's date.
Republicans instead decided the primary will only indicate the voters' presidential preference. Actual delegates will be decided later in caucuses.
However, if the candidates come out of Iowa and other early states in a close race, they may still work to win Missouri's non-binding election.
"Missouri will stand there as kind of a contest to get attention. Because there won't be any delegates selected for another several weeks due to the Republican rules," says Robertson.
Even though the results won't officially count, election officials say they still have to prepare for Missouri's primary like it's a "big one."
It's estimated the primary could cost the state between $6 million and $8 million.
Illinois will hold its primary March 20th.