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Welcome to the unpredictable, and often protracted, world of caucuses, Idaho Republicans.
The system the Idaho GOP set up for balloting led to a long night in Kootenai County, where as many as four ballots were needed to winnow the field down to a winner.
As colleague Jonathan Brunt reported from Lakeland High School in Rathdrum, the only person knocked out in the first round of balloting was Buddy Roemer. Who? you might well ask. Roemer is a former Louisiana governor who has been shut out of the plethora of GOP debates and is now running as an independent.
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich was eliminated on the second ballot. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on the third, and the fourth ballot showdown between former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul went to Santorum. Not that it mattered because by then, the statewide winner was already decided.
To see a map of who won each Idaho county, click here.
It was before 10 p.m. when it became clear that Kootenai County’s votes didn’t matter in Tuesday’s Idaho Republican caucus. And the only thing Kootenai County Republicans had decided was that former Louisana Gov. Buddy Roemer wouldn’t be their choice. Results from other counties showed that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would win enough votes regardless of Kootenai County to win all 32 of the state’s delegates. “It’s extremely frustrating,” said Kootenai County Republican Chairwoman Tina Jacobson, who said results shouldn’t have been released in ways to interfere with ongoing caucuses/Jonathan Brunt, SR. More here.
Question: Any thoughts from anyone who attended the caucuses?
Several hundred voters arrived before the doors opened at 4 p.m. for Tuesday's first-ever Idaho GOP presidential caucus. Lines for registration were moving smoothly and participants were given color-coded wristbands to spread them around the Taco Bell Arena at Boise State University. Among the early arrivals was 1st District GOP Rep. Raul Labrador, who said he will continue to keep his preference to himself. Labrador said he has supporters who divide their allegiance among all four major GOP candidates. “I have made it a point to not to endorse in this race,” Labrador said. “I don't think the people of Idaho want to know how I'm voting. They're independent and they're going to make up their own minds”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.