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Live: Idaho Caucus Results, Ron Paul Winning?

UPDATE (All Times EST)

10:06 PM Via Jim Acosta: CNN has learned former Idaho Senator Larry Craig has voted for Romney. h/t

10:05 PM @James Hohmann: Idaho Gov. Butch Otter now speaking to the crowd as Romney's surrogate. Notes that crowd is about as big as for Obama in same venue in 08.

10:00 PM Politico's James Hohmann: Local GOP official tells me there's "a solid 8,500" here to caucus in Boise's Taco Bell Arena.

9:56 PM Via Politico's James Hohmann: Happening now: LARRY CRAIG is leading the crowd at Taco Bell Arena in the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.

9:41 PM Idaho Caucus results have not come in. Mitt Romney got a solid vote this afternoon from Idaho Senator Larry Craig. Let's see what happens...

 

8:31 PM Anxiously waiting for Idaho Caucus reporting to start at 9pm. Ron Paul is trying to compete with Romney and was urging suporters to show up big for him tonight. Unlikely but you never know with the man from Texas. 

Tuesday 6:00 PM Ron Paul Hopes Ground Game Will Pay Dividends (And Delegates): Paul is using a Moneyball strategy in his campaign, reports PolicyMic editor Jordan Wolf: "Paul, by going to Idaho and North Dakota, is the GOP's equivalent of Billy Bean trying to replace his star line up after losing them all to other big budget teams. In one of the opening scenes of the movie based Jon Lewis' Moneyball, Brad Pitt listens to his advisers talk about how to replace Jason Giambi. What he finds out though, after meeting Jonah Hill's character — Yale educated Peter Brand — is that he should be thinking not about how to replace human beings on a roster, but how to make up stats in abstraction. Paul has made the same realization and is playing Moneyball in the GOP primary. He's going for delegates, the people who actually matter, rather than chasing percentage points in the nightly recaps of the major networks."

Friday12:05 PM: Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko said Idaho could set a record for per capita caucus participation. Sen. John McGee of Caldwell, chairman of the Canyon County GOP, predicts 15,000 will attend caucuses in Ada and Canyon counties alone.

12:00 PM Idaho has long been one of the most Republican of states, but it has had minimal influence on picking presidential nominees. This year, the Idaho GOP abandoned its May primary for a March 6 caucus, and now party leaders believe there will be record participation.  

“One of the reasons we moved up is so that we would get to the dance in time to dance before the music quit,” said Gov. Butch Otter. “We wanted to be part of the party.”

11:56 AM: Ron Paul campaign manager Gary Howard: "Of the Super Tuesday states, we have been focusing on Idaho, Alaska, and North Dakota, which are all caucus states where we have the highest likelikhood of gaining a lot of delegates."

11:55 AM: The Minnesota Public Radio reports Mitt Romney is likely to win Idaho, where about a quarter of the adult population is, like him, of the Mormon faith.

11:50AM: 2008 presidential candidate and Fox News host Mike Huckabee will bring his “Vote for AmericaRally” to the Idaho Center in Nampa at 1:00 p.m on Sunday.

Background

Idaho is not expected to be a major battleground on Super Tuesday, but Mitt Romney spent Thursday pitching his candidacy to Idaho voters, in a bid to continue his momentum from last week's Michigan and Arizona victories. 

"I don't need a lot; I just need you to go out and vote," Romney said in a high school gymnasium packed with 1,000 people in Idaho Falls. "I want to make sure we win, we win solidly in Idaho, that I get the delegates I need to go on and win the nomination." 

Romney said he is "running against some good guys in the primary, but you know, they don't have any experience in business. To get America on track, to create good jobs, it helps to have a president who's had a good job, and I have," he said.

Romney's chief rival is likely to be Ron Paul, who sees Idaho as his best shot among the ten Super Tuesday states. Ron Paul finished in second-place in Idaho in 2008, and he won an Idaho January straw poll. Campaign chairman Jesse Benton said, "Delegate-rick Idaho is fertile ground for a competitive showing."

Paul has planned a series of campaign stops next week. On Monday, he'll be in Sandpoint (noon), Moscow (3:00pm), and Idaho Falls (7:00pm). On Tuesday, he'll be in the Treasure Valley at a location to be determined. The Idaho GOP presidential caucuses will convene at 7:00 p.m.

Idaho has 32 delegates up for grabs in the Caucus, which is more than Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. The primary is closed to only registered Republicans. The voting will be conducted by secret ballot and takes place in successive rounds. Each round, the candidate with the lowest vote is eliminate. Voting ends when one candidate receives at least 50% of the vote.

PolicyMic will be updating this page with live updates on Idaho as they come in. Check back for more over the weekend.  

If you're in Idaho and have a tip about the campaign and Super Tuesday mood, comment below or let us know.

See More Live Super Tuesday Updates here.

Photo Credit: tinabasgen

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