Is The Idaho Primary Winner Take All? The Gem State Holds A Small Trove Of Delegates
Super Tuesday is now long gone and the primaries are in full swing. Idaho's Republican primary will kick off early Tuesday, and the Democratic primary will take place in just a few weeks on March 22. On the Republican side, Idaho's primaries have 32 delegates at stake and 27 for the Democrats. As presidential candidates prepare to take the Gem State, is Idaho's primary winner-take-all? In 2012, Idaho held Republican caucuses to elect a presidential nominee, but this year they are going back to a traditional primary on Tuesday, March 8, and polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
With 32 Republican delegates at stake, if a candidate wins 50 percent of the vote, they will also win all the delegates. Otherwise, candidates will win delegates on a proportional basis but they must get at least 20 percent of the vote first. Candidates need a total 1,237 delegates in order to win the Republican nomination, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is catching up to businessman Donald Trump. Trump, who has been in the lead over the entire course of the primaries has won a total 384 delegates, followed by Cruz with 300 and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio with 151.
With recent calls from several Republican politicians against Donald Trump — including South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham as well as former Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney — Idaho will be an important state for the GOP. If anything, it will be a close match between Trump and Cruz. Trump is currently leading among 30 percent of Idaho voters, followed by Cruz at 19 percent.
For Democrats, Idaho's caucuses will take place on March 22 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Simply put, Democratic delegates are awarded proportionally. With 27 delegates at stake in Idaho for Democrats and 2,383 needed for the nomination, presidential candidates will need at least 15 percent of votes to take any of the delegates. Anyone can vote in the Democratic caucus, as long as they did not vote on March 8, which could potentially help Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Though polling has so far been scarce in the state, a February poll has Sanders with the slightest of leads over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, only 2 percent (47 percent to 45 percent).
Clinton and Sanders have to prepare for a few other primaries that are coming up before worrying about Idaho, with Michigan and Mississippi voters coming out on March 8.
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