GOP Presidential race coming to St. Louis ahead of schedule

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-  Voters in Missouri and Illinois still have two weeks to wait for presidential primary day, but it turns out St. Louis will play a role in how Kansas will decide on a Republican nominee.

The Kansas Republican Party will host a caucus on Saturday, including at the Westin Hotel in St. Louis,  for thousands of Wichita State Shocker fans who will be here to root on the top-seeded Wichita State Shocker Men’s basketball team in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. If all goes according to plan, those fans would be here through Sunday and would otherwise miss the chance to choose.

It started as a lark. “A Wichita State Friend called and said he was going to miss the Basketball game to be at our our caucus this year,” Kansas GOP Chair Kelly Arnold told FOX2 in an email. “I joked that I was going to bring the caucus to him in St. Louis. When I hung up the phone I started thinking ‘why can’t I do that’ and started looking into the possibility. I took me a couple weeks but we got it worked out.”

Arnold said the caucus will work just like it will in Kansas. People will show up at the hotel, show a photo ID, get checked in a database, then get a ballot to vote. To the best of his knowledge, this is an unprecedented idea, which goes hand in hand with what the party does to enable absentee voting otherwise.

Arnold says the party is working on a backup plan in the event that Wichita State gets upset before Saturday.

“But we plan on winning,” he quipped.

According to The Kansas City Star, a Fort Hays State poll out last week shows Donald Trump in the lead with 26 percent over Ted Cruz at 14 percent and Marco Rubio at 13 percent, but with a large percentage of voters, a full 39 percent, undecided.