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0000017b-27e8-d2e5-a37b-7fffd9e00000Thanks for tuning in for special election coverage from NPR news and KSMU of the Mega Tuesday primaries, which included the state of Missouri.Election results can be found through the Missouri Secretary of State's office website.Below, read KSMU coverage of the March 15 primary, and following coverage from the NPR elections team here.

After Super Tuesday, Missouri Among Primary States Up Next For Candidates

Michele Skalicky

Super Tuesday is over and now the presidential candidates from both political parties are looking ahead to the Missouri Presidential Preference Primary on March 15.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who are both presumed to earn nominations from their respective parties, hold commanding leads in their respective delegate races.

Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul known for taking cheap shots at opponents, increased his lead in the delegate count after winning seven states on March 1. Trump’s popularity derives from Republican voters having anger towards the party establishment, according to Drury University political science professor Daniel Ponder.

Ponder said that that anger has made it difficult for the rest of the candidates in the Republican field to defeat Trump, despite all of the negative press surrounding him.

“I don’t know if there’s any specific strategy that either one of them could follow that’s a magic bullet. I will say that lots of people hate negative campaigning. But when you’re behind, and you need to slay a giant, that seems to be the best stone in your arsenal.”

There are 52 delegates up for grabs for Republicans in Missouri.

Clinton also won seven states on Super Tuesday against Bernie Sanders, her only opponent in the Democratic primary race. With 71 delegates at stake in Missouri for Democrats, she looks to add to her already substantial lead over Sanders. Sanders trails by a nearly 3-to-1 margin.

“Sanders also does well, at least right now, in polls but again we’re a long way from November. But, he does not have the luxury of ‘she is not electable.’ She is certainly electable, particularly when it comes to Donald Trump.”

Ponder said that while Sanders has not resorted to negative attacks against Clinton thus far, he may be forced to consider that option moving further into the primary season.

“He might have to start to go negative and focus on emails and trustworthiness, some things that Hillary doesn’t do quite as well on in national polls. I don’t know if that’s the campaign he would be comfortable running.”

Ted Cruz currently sits in second place in the Republican primary race, and looks to be the candidate with the best chance at besting Trump. He used a strategy of reaching out to social conservatives to win the Iowa Caucus on Feb. 1, but that same strategy may not work in Missouri, according to Ponder.

“I think that strategy could work, but I think it would also be risky at this point. We are in a different part of the electoral season that we were in Iowa, and now Trump obviously has the momentum.”

The Missouri Presidential Primary is March 15. It is a closed primary, meaning that voters can only vote for candidates from their preferred party. Information for voters about the primary can be found here.

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