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Is Tea Party Over In Idaho?

Idaho Republican primary voters this week spurned a drive by libertarian-leaning upstarts aiming to oust GOP House and Senate incumbents. This comes after Republican Mitt Romney's easy March victory in Idaho's "Super Tuesday" caucus over libertarian and GOP candidate Ron Paul. With the next test of the dominant Idaho political party's mood coming next month at the state GOP convention in Twin Falls, there's growing evidence it's exiting a period marked by tea-party advances and entering another where Republicans stick by candidates they know amid an improving economy and falling unemployment. Gov. Butch Otter said his Tuesday-night takeaway is this: Idaho will remain conservative, but won't tilt much further right. Otter has another goal for the June 21-23 confab, too: Convincing delegates to join his push for reopening the GOP primary to more than just Republican voters/AP. More here.

Question: For all the noise it made, Idaho's Tea Party faction didn't win much during the GOPrimary -- and lost its guiding light: Rep. Phil Hart. Is the Tea Party over in Idaho?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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