As in other states, the results of Missouri’s Feb. 4 primary election are represented to the national Democratic Party by delegates, those who officially anoint the party’s presidential nominee at the Democratic National Convention in July. Missouri will send 88 delegates and 13 alternates to the convention, most of whom are bound to represent the state’s popular vote. The process is a lot like tryouts for a baseball team:
Open sign-up: Democrats met in each of Missouri’s legislative districts and nominated thousands of delegates to attend the national convention. The delegation represented John Kerry and John Edwards, the two candidates who earned 15 percent or more of the Missouri vote on Feb. 3.
County conventions (tryouts and first cuts): Nominees from legislative district conventions in eight large counties met to narrow their list of delegate hopefuls.
Smaller counties skip this step and send their legislative district nominees directly to the congressional district conventions.
Congressional district conventions (final cuts): Democrats from each Congressional district will vote on remaining candidates and elect 48 delegates and eight alternates to attend the national convention.
State Democratic convention (second-chance tryouts and cuts):
Anyone running for a delegate slot, even those not elected to the national convention, can participate in the state convention. Of those still interested in attending the national convention, 16 delegates and five alternates will be elected as at-large delegates. The rest of Missouri’s delegation will be composed mostly of party designees and powerful state Democrats.