Razor-thin vote margins in Missouri’s Republican and Democratic presidential primaries Tuesday raised the question of a recount. With all precincts reporting, Republican Donald Trump defeated Ted Cruz by less than one-half of 1 percent, or 1,726 votes, according to the Missouri secretary of state’s office. Democrat Hillary Clinton’s margin was even closer. Clinton also defeated Bernie Sanders by less than one-half of 1 percent, or 1,531 votes, the office reported. It’s possible that recounts could take place in both races, whoever is declared the unofficial winner. Under Missouri law, a candidate who loses by less than one-half of 1 percent of all votes cast can seek a recount. The close margins amount to little more than bragging rights, with the winners being able to say they won the state.
John Hancock, the chairman of the Missouri Republican Party, said on Tuesday night that any recount would be a legal question.
“It looks to me like the separation is pretty clear,” Hancock said. “The question is if the congressional districts are tight enough. And we aren’t going to know that for a while.”
The state’s 52 GOP delegates will be awarded by the winner of the popular vote in the state’s eight congressional districts. That means the vote margins could be even slimmer when the count is spliced over those boundaries.