'Historic' Idaho GOP Caucuses - Record Number of Attendees



UPDATE March 7, 2012 2:00 a.m.

In an unprecedented showing of over 44,000 Idaho Republicans participating in the Gem State's first-ever GOP Presidential Caucuses, Mitt Romney walked away with all of the state's 32 delegates.

Though both Rick Santorum and Ron Paul picked up a few wins [Paul won Bonner, Boundary, Camas, Idaho, Latah and Nez Perce counties while Santorum won Benewah, Clearwater, Kootenai, Lewis, Owyhee, Shoshone and Washington counties], Article VI, Section 5 of the Rules of the Idaho Republican Party have awarded all of the state's 32 delegates to Romney, because he won over 50 percent of the total counties' proportion of delegates.

In Ada County, where more than 9,000 packed into Boise State's Taco Bell Arena (the largest caucus turnout in the nation thus far in 2012), Romney won with 4,223 votes, trailed by Santorum with 1,866, Paul with 1,766 and Newt Gingrich with 307.

In Canyon County, where more than 4,500 participated at the Idaho Center, two rounds of voting were necessary before Romney won with 51.8 percent of the vote, followed by Santorum's 32,6 percent and Paul's 15.5 percent.

UPDATE March 6, 2012 8:00 p.m.

Ada County GOP officials have just told Citydesk that more than 9,050 have come through the doors of Boise State's Taco Bell Arena to participate in Ada's Republican Caucus. That's more than double the previous 2012 record high - 4,000 - set in January at an Iowa caucus location.

ORIGINAL POST March 6, 2012 7 p.m.

It’s official. The Ada County GOP Super Tuesday caucus is the largest in the nation so far, surpassing a caucus in Blackhawk County, Iowa, in January.

“That's what's so ‘super’ about Super Tuesday,” said Dave Leroy, former Idaho Attorney General and Boise attorney.

As of 7 p.m., more than 6,000 people had packed into the Taco Bell Arena at Boise State, and more than 2,000 more were still outside, waiting in line (participants have to officially register with the Republican Party to participate).

“This is an historic event,” said Rep. Raul Labrador. “Your vote actually matters this year.”

To cast their votes, participants will be handed coins (pennies), which they will drop into buckets representing the candidates. The buckets will be weighed; the lowest vote-getters will be bounced; and the process continues until someone receives more than 50 percent of the vote.

BW has a team of reporters in every corner of Taco Bell Arena. Wednesday morning, we’ll be sharing a series of profiles, giving you a sense of this precedent-setting night.

Follow the action live on Twitter now with @boiseweekly.

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