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Rick Santorum's campaign is looking to gain additional momentum against Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, but that won't come in Missouri—at least not this weekend.
Yes, Missouri is set to begin holding its Republican caucuses on Saturday, but the full results won't be announced until June.
Under the state's somewhat arcane process, Republicans caucusgoers in the state will begin electing county delegates on Saturday. Those delegates will then proceed to a congressional district caucus set for April 21, where, according to rules laid out by the Missouri Republican Party, roughly half of the state's 52 presidential delegates will be selected. The other half will be determined at the state Republican convention scheduled for June 2.
Santorum easily won the state's Republican primary on Feb. 7, defeating Romney 52 percent to 23 percent. Ron Paul placed third with 12 percent, while Newt Gingrich did not qualify for the ballot. But those results were non-binding. Since then, Santorum and his rivals have been competing hard to win support at the caucuses, in spite of the fact that no clear winner will emerge until the national primary campaign is nearly over.
Still, there's a chance the preliminary results in April could have some effect on the race—especially if it continues to be a debate about delegate math, a narrative Romney's campaign has been pushing hard in recent days.
While Missouri's contest will do little to change the race--at least not immediately--candidates will still have opportunities to up their number of delegates in coming days. On Sunday, 23 delegates are up for grabs in Puerto Rico's Republican caucuses, and Illinois's Republican primary--which will award 69 delegates--is set for Tuesday.
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