Legislation introduced today would move Idaho’s presidential primary election to March to give the state more early impact in presidential races. But the measure’s estimated cost of $2 million to the state’s taxpayers may doom its chances. “That was the estimate we got from the Secretary of State’s office,” said Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, the bill’s sponsor. “We’re going to try and deal with that. … We used to have a (presidential) primary that was on its own, and it didn’t cost us that much money. ” But, he said, “That’ll be one of the issues that’ll be used against it.”
Idaho’s current primary election is in May. The bill introduced in the Senate State Affairs Committee today would keep the May primary for all other offices, moving only the presidential primary. Currently, Idaho’s Democratic Party selects its presidential delegates through an earlier caucus; Republicans followed suit starting in 2012. Idaho's Republican primary is closed to anyone other than registered Republicans.