St. Louis (KSDK) -- The Missouri Presidential Primary could be essentially meaningless this year.
Missouri moved its primary up to the February date and was then told to move it back because of Republican Party rules. Lawmakers in Jefferson City couldn't agree on a deal, so instead of facing penalties from their party, Missouri Republicans have decided the February 7th primary will only determine the voters' presidential preference. Delegates will be decided later in caucuses.
State leaders fear candidates now see Missouri's primary as nothing more than a beauty contest.
"We matter, but we don't matter too much and we're not going to see too much of the candidates unless there is a very close contest coming out of January, out of these primaries and caucuses that occur this month," said Dave Robertson, KSDK's political analyst. "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."
Even though the results won't officially count, election officials told NewsChannel 5 they still have to prepare for Missouri's Primary like it's a big one.
The primary is estimated to cost the state between $6-million and $8-million.