UNITED STATES NEWS

AP Decision Notes: What to expect in Idaho’s GOP caucuses

Feb 28, 2024, 5:12 AM

FILE - The Idaho state flag hangs in the State Capitol in Boise, Idaho, Jan. 9, 2023. Idaho Republi...

FILE - The Idaho state flag hangs in the State Capitol in Boise, Idaho, Jan. 9, 2023. Idaho Republicans will gather in presidential caucuses Saturday, March 2, 2024, to help pick their party's presidential standard-bearer. Former president Donald Trump and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley will compete for the state's 32 Republican delegates, as will Texas businessman and pastor Ryan Binkley. (AP Photo/Kyle Green, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Kyle Green, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — When life cancels your primary, have a caucus.

That’s what Idaho Republicans will do this Saturday when they gather in meetings across the state to help pick their party’s presidential nominee.

State legislators originally hoped to save money by consolidating the March 12 presidential primary with their May 21 primary for state and local offices. But after passing legislation last year canceling the March primary, the lawmakers neglected to take the additional step of moving the event to the May date, in effect canceling the presidential contest entirely — seemingly inadvertently.

The state parties instead will hold presidential caucuses this year: Republicans on Saturday and the Democrats on May 23.

Former President Donald Trump and Nikki Haley, his former U.N. ambassador, will compete for the state’s 32 Republican delegates. Haley is looking to score her first victory against Trump, but, given the pattern of voting in previous contests this year, she is unlikely to find it in Idaho.

In their previous matchups, Haley generally performed best among voters in areas that tend to support Democrats in elections, while Trump generally did best in areas that traditionally favor Republicans. Trump placed a distant second in the 2016 Idaho primary behind Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, but Trump’s loss in the state eight years ago against a very conservative candidate doesn’t reveal any obvious paths to victory for Haley this year.

The Republican caucuses will largely resemble the first-in-the-nation caucuses that Iowa Republican staged in January. Voters across the state will meet in their designated caucus sites and will hear short pitches on behalf of the various candidates. Then they will vote by secret ballot, with the results tabulated at each caucus site. Vote totals from all caucus sites will be added up and the results used to determine how many delegates each candidate has won.

The last time Idaho Republicans held presidential caucuses was in 2012, when Mitt Romney, now a Utah senator, won with 62% of the vote as part of that year’s Super Tuesday.

A look at what to expect on election night:

CAUCUS DAY

The caucuses convene at 3:30 p.m. EST, which 1:30 p.m. MST and 12:30 p.m. PST. Idaho is in both the Mountain and Pacific time zones. Participants may check in as early as 2:00 p.m. EST, which is 12:00 p.m. MST and 11:00 a.m. PST. There is no set end time for the caucuses.

WHAT’S ON THE BALLOT

The caucuses are the only contest on the ballot. In addition to Haley and Trump, the other names on the ballot are those of former candidates Ryan Binkley, Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy.

WHO GETS TO VOTE

Only voters registered as Republicans in Idaho may participate in the caucuses. The deadline to register was Dec. 31.

DELEGATE ALLOCATION RULES

All of Idaho’s 32 Republican delegates will be awarded to the candidate who receives more than 50% of the statewide vote. If no candidate receives a vote majority, the delegates will be allocated in proportion to the statewide vote results, although a candidate must receive at least 15% to qualify for any delegates.

DECISION NOTES

The state party is expected to announce the final vote results and the winner of the primary at some point on caucus night. The Associated Press’ winner call will be based on the state party’s announcement.

WHAT DO TURNOUT AND ADVANCE VOTE LOOK LIKE

As of Feb. 1, there were more than 581,000 registered Republicans in Idaho, about 58% of all registered voters. The last time the state party held presidential caucuses in 2012, nearly 45,000 votes were cast, roughly one-fifth of all registered Republicans at that time.

The state party’s caucus rules have no provision for early or absentee voting.

HOW LONG DOES VOTE-COUNTING USUALLY TAKE?

There isn’t a recent presidential caucus to provide an accurate sense of how long vote-counting will take, but the state party plans to announce the results and the winner at some point on caucus night.

ARE WE THERE YET?

As of Saturday, there will be 135 days until the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee and 248 days until the November general election.

___

Associated Press writer David A. Lieb in Jefferson City, Missouri, contributed to this report.

United States News

Associated Press

A state trooper pleaded guilty to assaulting teens over a doorbell prank. He could face prison time

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A suspended Delaware state trooper is facing prison time after pleading guilty to criminal charges involving a brutal assault on a teenager who targeted the trooper’s house in a prank. Dempsey Walters, 30, pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree assault and deprivation of civil rights, both felonies, authorities said. He also pleaded […]

20 minutes ago

Associated Press

Sawfish rescued in Florida as biologists try to determine why the ancient fish are dying

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A large sawfish that showed signs of distress was rescued by wildlife officials in the Florida Keys, where more than three dozen of the ancient and endangered fish have died for unexplained reasons in recent months. The 11-foot (3.3-meter) smalltooth sawfish was seen swimming in circles near Cudjoe Key and […]

38 minutes ago

Associated Press

‘HELP’ sign on beach points rescuers to men stuck nine days on remote Pacific atoll

Three men stranded on an uninhabited Pacific island survived for more than a week and used palm fronds to spell out HELP on the beach – leading to rescue by Navy and Coast Guard aviators who spotted the sign from several thousand feet in the air. They had embarked March 31 in a 20-foot boat […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Crash of semitrailer into Texas public safety office was intentional, lawmaker says

BRENHAM, Texas (AP) — The driver of a stolen semitrailer intentionally rammed it into a Texas public safety office in a rural town west of Houston on Friday, injuring multiple people, according to a state lawmaker. Three people were airlifted with critical injuries and three others were transported in serious condition after the crash of […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Prosecutors: South Carolina prison supervisor took $219,000 in bribes; got 173 cellphones to inmates

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A supervisor who managed security at a South Carolina prison accepted more than $219,000 in bribes over three years and got 173 contraband cellphones for inmates, according to federal prosecutors. Christine Mary Livingston, 46, was indicted earlier this month on 15 charges including bribery, conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering. Livingston […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Oil and gas companies must pay more to drill on public lands under new Biden administration rule

WASHINGTON (AP) — Oil and gas companies will have to pay more to drill on public lands and satisfy stronger requirements to clean up old or abandoned wells, according to a final rule issued Friday by the Biden administration. The Interior Department’s rule raises royalty rates for oil drilling by more than one-third, to 16.67%, […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

AP Decision Notes: What to expect in Idaho’s GOP caucuses