A proposal to move Missouri’s 2016 presidential primary back to March has been crushed in the state senate by Republicans who think the national party overreached.

National Republicans told Missouri party officials the state had to move its primary from February to March or half of Missouri’s national convention delegation would not be recognized.  When the legislature refused to change the state law, the state party ruled delegates would be picked in caucuses, not on the basis of the February primary votes. The February primary showed only 11% of the voters turned out.  Only about one percent  showed up for the county caucuses.

Senator David Pearce of Warrensburg says Missouri should change its law to avoid a repeat of caucuses that he says made Missouri a laughing stock.

Carpe Girardeau’s Jason Crowell has led the opposition, charging the state party caved in to the national party, to the detriment of Missouri Republicans. He says Missouri has been awarded by getting prime hotel space for national convention delegates, seven minutes closer to the convention hall than the hotel for delegates from Florida, which ignored national party demands.

Crowell says Missouri’s change means this state’s Republicans never saw the major candidates.  Rick Santorum was the only one who seriously campaigned here. 

Pearce calls the caucuses a fiasco.  Crowell says the Missouri GOP should tell national leaders, “We don’t give a rip what you say,” and that Missouri is not going to change the date of its primary in 2016.

Pearce’s proposal was shouted down by the senate. 

AUDIO: Senate debate 25:33