Candidates start to focus on upcoming Missouri, Illinois primari -

Candidates start to focus on upcoming Missouri, Illinois primaries

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( -

Candidates are zeroing in on both Missouri and Illinois, as voters from both sides of the river will head to the polls March 15.

What makes this election cycle different from years past, is that there isn’t a clear front runner for either the Democratic or Republican nomination. But after Missouri and Illinois vote there could be a clearer picture.

“I think that there's a lot of excitement because there's so many candidates, there's so much media attention. Donald Trump, obviously, a reality start turned presidential candidate and I think it is causing a lot of people to pay attention to politics who normally wouldn't,” says Dr. Laurie Rice, Associate Professor of Political Science at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  

 With a week to go before the presidential preference primary election, it's crunch time.

This week alone, the St. Louis area saw former president Bill Clinton in town, and will see Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz visit.

Heidi Cruz hit the campaign trial for her husband on Tuesday in Belleville. March 5, Bernie Sanders made a stop at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

“Candidates can come to the St. Louis area and reach both states. They come to Illinois, they come to Missouri, anywhere in the St. Louis area and with the media, area voters will hear about it, so it's more bang for their buck,” says Rice.

It will all come down to what voters decide on March 15. In both Missouri and Illinois there's over 100 delegates at stake. On the Republican side, the winner of Illinois receives all of its delegates, but the winner of the Missouri primary must earn more than 50 percent of the vote to win all of the Show Me State’s delegates.

Both the Illinois and Missouri Democratic primaries are proportional.

“These are consequential decisions that the voters are making. You know whoever comes out on top in Missouri might be the next president of the United States,” says Eric Fey, director of the St. Louis County Board of Elections.

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