Idaho will hold its state and congressional primary on Tuesday, the first closed primary in the state’s history.
Depending on where voters live, voters will cast their ballots for the office of sheriff, county commissioner, state representative, state senator, and U.S. representative.
There are national implications, though. GOP presidential nominee Ron Paul — who has suspended spending on his presidential (see here for what that actually means) — will hope his “It’s the Delegates, Dummy” strategy will pay dividends (See Below).
PolicyMic is LIVE blogging the primary throughout the day:
Tuesday, 9:20 p.m. Polls Close in 40 minutes!
Whatever you think of Ron Paul's libertarian platform, it's clear that his campaign has executed a rather brilliant strategy. Thus far, the idea has been to win as many state delegates as possible, which determines the number delegates who will support Paul at the national convention in August. Admittedly, focusing on delegates at the expense of the popular vote seems a bit crazy, but the strategy is actually working.
Though Paul probably can't win the Republican nomination, his campaign has denied that he is out of the race and affirmed that their goal now is to influence the party's platform. Tuesday's contest in Idaho illustrates how that can be done.
Since Romney is entitled to all of Idaho's 32 national delegates after a strong showing in the state's March Caucuses (62% compared to Paul's 18%), the Texas congressman's campaign is now attempting to overturn Romney's victory by manipulating Idaho's complex election rules.
Though Romney was technically awarded the national delegates, they have to be ratified at the Republican state convention on June 22. Paul's supporters can prevent such an outcome by getting enough precinct committee members elected Tuesday who can vote for state delegates in Idaho's county and district conventions. If two-thirds of the state delegates turn out for Paul, he will be awarded all of Idaho's national delegates.
Just as in other states where Paul has picked up surprising numbers of delegates, a successful effort in Idaho will be driven by dedicated volunteers. And they have been prepping for this contest for months, spreading the word and determining how to elect as many precinct committee members as possible.
But if not outright victory, what would a successful end to the Paul campaign look like? According to Reason's Brian Doherty, laying the groundwork for future "liberty candidates," much like Barry Goldwater did for Ronald Reagan, would be an ideal outcome at this point. If Paul's campaign can insert his concerns about monetary policy, war, and internet privacy (to name a few examples) into the GOP platform, it will be much easier to get like minded candidates elected in future races.
To be sure, this scenario is a stretch. A lot of things have to fall into place to make it happen. But, really, that's the story of Paul's campaign. We won't know until the Republican national convention takes place this summer, but it wouldn't be surprising to see Paul and his loyal supporters leave such massive mark on the 2012 presidential race.
3:40 pm: Mitt Romney had won the original Idaho caucus back on March 6, notching 61% of the vote. Rick Santorum and Ron Paul were virtually tied, notching 18.2% and 18.1% respectively.
2 pm: There are several significant changes to Idaho's 2012 Primary Election this year.
One major change will require that voters register as Republican in order to participate in Idaho's Republican Primary Election, where they may only vote for Republican candidates.
Idaho's Democratic Primary Election remains open to all voters regardless of affiliation, including Democratic and Republican voters, and voters in the Constitution, Libertarian, and Independent parties, among others.
Another major change could have voters casting their ballots in new districts, and for candidates who have previously represented different sections of the state. This is because Idaho's 2012 redistricting plan carved parts of the state into different political regions.
To make sure you know exactly where to vote, click here. For an updated list of candidates running in all districts, click here. For a complete list of rules and voter regulations, check out Idaho's 2012 Voter Guide.
What Idaho can mean for Ron Paul: In his IDD strategy, Paul has focused on the fact that presidential nominees are chosen by delegates, not by popular vote. Paul’s campaign has focused to date especially on states that allow committed Republican Party members to have a greater voice in the process. States like Iowa, Nevada, Maine, Louisiana, Washington, and Colorado have been states where Paul supporters have made tremendous inroads in winning party leadership positions and being influential in the national delegate selection process. While many states have yet to finish the delegate selection process, it increasingly looks like Paul could dominate the nationwide delegate process called long ago in Romney’s favor.
Primary Info: The primary is non-binding in Idaho. Precinct Committeeman positions are up for election. Precinct committee positions go on to participate in legislative district and county conventions, which select delegates to the state convention.
Polls throughout the state will be open today from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Depending on where they live, voters will cast their ballots for the office of sheriff, county commissioner, state representative, state senator, and U.S. representative.
In addition, the 2012 Primary Election will also feature races for several judicial offices, along with levies for schools, fire & rescue, and county taxes. These particular issues will be entirely decided by the primary election.