BOISE — “Wow, all the way from Seattle? I knew we were a big deal!” said one Republican at the Ada County caucus.
That’s the reaction we heard covering the caucuses this past week from Sandpoint all the way down to Boise, Idaho. Our 1,400 mile trip showed us that not only were Republicans energetic about their candidates, but they were enthusiastic that their votes helped to shape an election where they usually hold a smaller voice, if any voice at all.
This was Idaho’s first-ever Republican Party caucus, and the first time the state has weighed in on the Republican presidential nomination contest before May in recent history. Idahoans were used to going to polls after the presumptive nominee received all of the delegates they needed to win, making their votes, well, immaterial.
I could write a bunch of cliches such as, “the energy was palpable,” and “the tension in the arena was so thick, you could cut it with a knife.” Instead, I put together a video of what it was like to be in Taco Bell Arena in Boise, with 9,050 Republican voters in attendance at this history-making caucus.
Ilona Idlis contributed reporting to this post.