People lined up to crowd into a chilly hangar near the Boise Airport this evening for a rally for Marco Rubio, after Rubio drew 1,200 at a similar rally earlier this evening in Idaho Falls. This comes after Ted Cruz drew more than 3,000 people to a rally at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds yesterday in Coeur d’Alene, then made an unexpected visit to Boise, where he addressed 700 at Boise State University.
“Another day, another presidential candidate,” said Idaho GOP Chairman Steve Yates, who attended events for both candidates. Yates said five GOP hopefuls visited Idaho in 2015. “Now we have two the weekend before the primary.” Rubio is running about 15 minutes late, the crowd was informed.
Cruz notched victories in two states, Kansas and Maine, on Saturday, while front-runner Donald Trump took Louisiana and Kentucky; Rubio trailed in all four. But today, Rubio won Puerto Rico, garnering close to two dozen delegates. Idaho has 32 delegates at stake on Tuesday.
“The Idaho delegates are going to play a role,” Yates said. “I literally have no gauge on how the vote will come out on Tuesday. I’m anxious to see the results, and see where Idaho Republicans stand on this magical mystery tour we’re on.”
Among the crowd filing in to the rally was Donald Sawyer of Nampa, a Trump supporter who wore a T-shirt picturing Trump with the slogan, “Washington, You’re Fired!” Sawyer said he was among a couple of protesters who stood on a street corner outside with signs saying, “Vote Trump, Please,” flashing thumbs-ups at passing cars. Asked what response he got, Sawyer turned his thumbs down, and said, “A lot of like this.”
Among Rubio supporters in the closely-packed crowd in the hangar, Julie Kane of Eagle was dressed in red, white and blue and excited to see her favored candidate. “I think he’s probably the most intelligent, well-informed, passionate candidate we have, and I believe in him a lot,” said the retired flight attendant, who moved to Idaho from southern California 22 years ago in part because she liked the state’s GOP politics. But despite her strong party identification, Kane had nothing good to say about rival Trump, who she called “a very poor excuse for a candidate.” “I never thought I’d see the day when there would be somebody like that running for president,” Kane sniffed.
Rep. Lance Clow, R-Twin Falls, said he actually already cast his ballot for Rubio. “I want to make sure we win,” he said. “I’m really comfortable with all of the candidates – maybe not so much with Trump.”