02/07/2012 09:45 am ET

Missouri Primary 2012: Live Election Day Updates

The Missouri primary on Tuesday has been regarded as a "beauty contest" because of its non-binding nature.

The state's 52 delegates are not up for grabs as voters head to the polls. Rather, they will be allocated through a process beginning with a caucus on March 17.

In a memo to reporters on Monday, Republican National Committee Communications Director Sean Spicer explained:

Missouri will hold a primary tomorrow that is not recognized as being a part of any delegate allocation or selection process. A precinct caucus will be held on 3/17/2012 to begin the process of choosing their 52 delegates which will be chosen at district conventions on April 21, 2012, and a state convention on June 2, 2012. Candidates for delegate must state a presidential preference at the time of nomination and will be bound to support that candidate for one ballot at the national convention.

HuffPost's Mark Blumenthal reports on the state of the race going into Tuesday's contest:

[Public Policy Polling] fielded a one-night poll on Feb. 6 that gives Santorum a 13-point lead over Romney (45 to 32 percent), followed by Paul (19 percent). Gingrich did not qualify for the Missouri ballot, and was thus not included in PPP's poll question. However, the ballot will include an option to vote "uncommitted" -- an option that PPP did not offer on its vote question, so the poll may understate how many Gingrich supporters will opt to vote uncommitted as a way of expressing support for their candidate.

The Republican candidates will also compete in the Colorado caucus and Minnesota caucus on Tuesday.

Check out the live blog below for the latest developments out of Missouri.