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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Idaho

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March 31, 2012 at 9:54 AM

The Ron Paul Family Cookbook: The most delicious campaign material yet

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul with wife Carol Paul (Photo courtesy of RonPaul2012.com). The Ron Paul campaign calls it “one of the best campaign handouts you will ever find.” After finding the Ron Paul Family Cookbook (2011 edition, that’s right, there’s more than one edition) on the floor of the Taco Bell Arena…

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Brownies, Campaign literature, Campaign materials

March 10, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Thousands at Ada County caucus make history, embrace 2012, put Idaho on Republican map

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…

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Comments | Topics: caucus, Caucuses, caucuses

March 7, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Part Two: Ada County caucus had a festival feel

BOISE — With 9,050 voters, over a hundred volunteers, a live band, and endless concession stands selling popcorn, Ada County’s inaugural caucus felt a lot like a carnival. The crowd would spontaneously erupt in “Ron Paul” and “Mitt, Mitt, Mitt” chants or break out The Wave. The applause was deafening and the chorus of voices singing the National Anthem was beautiful. Little kids danced by the stage and attendees chatted with their favorite local politicians and radio personalities.

Though not everyone was happy with Mitt Romney’s 51.79% win, no one complained about the enthusiasm and camaraderie that filled the Taco Bell Arena. Below are a few photo that captured of the energy in America’s largest caucus thus far:

(Photo by Alicia Halberg/UW Election Eye)

These girls decked themselves in patriotic gear in preparation for their first caucus.

Tiny tots carry a paper Ron Paul banner.

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Comments | Topics: caucus, Caucuses, Delegates

March 7, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Romney emerges victorious in huge turnout at Ada County caucus: Part One

Over 9,000 voters crowded inside the Taco Bell Arena for Ada County's first caucus on Super Tuesday, March 6, 2012. Black polling booths surrounded the stage and voters lined up to drop their penny tokens. (Photo by Ilona Idlis/UW Election Eye)

BOISE — Over 9,000 voters crowded inside the Taco Bell Arena on Super Tuesday for Ada County’s first ever caucus, where Mitt Romney secured all of Idaho’s 32 delegates. Ada County Chairman Dwight Johnson called it the “largest caucus in the history of the Republican Party.” The sharp 7 p.m. walk-in deadline was extended to accommodate the barrage of latecomers, and by the time attendance was established, half an hour had passed.

After a prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, the national anthem, instructions, and stump speeches for each of the four candidates (Rick Santorum submitted a video message), the voting part of the event finally got under way. Caucus goers lined up according to the stamps on their wristbands at various polling booths around the stadium. I use the term “booth” loosely, since voting space was just a few gauze black curtains. Inside was a table with four buckets. Each bucket had a candidate’s name taped to it.

As voters entered, volunteers handed them a token — a shiny, new Lincoln penny — to place inside the bucket of their choice. On their way out, another volunteer marked their hands with a blue marker to signify they had voted in the first round.

It took about an hour to filter through everyone sitting in two tiers of bleachers. A few county officials counted all 9,050 pennies — by hand.

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Comments | Topics: Ada County, caucus, Caucuses

March 6, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Exclusive: Interview with Idaho Governor Butch Otter

Idaho Governor Butch Otter chats with an attendee at pro-Mitt Romney Meet and Greet event in Coeur D'Alene on Monday, March 5.

Idaho Governor Butch Otter chats with an attendee at a Mitt Romney Meet and Greet event in Coeur D'Alene on Monday, March 5. (Photo by Ilona Idlis/UW Election Eye)

COEUR D’ALENE –The hundred or so people gathered inside the Coeur D’Alene Resort Hotel for a Mitt Romney rally greeted Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter like an old friend.

Moments after strolling inside the convention hall, the Governor got a warm hug from Donna Montgomery, an event volunteer and long time member of Kootenai County Republican Women Federated. As the two walked toward the room, the Governor’s arm around Mongomery’s shoulders, she joked that Otter should be the one running for president.

“You know, I was up there for six years and didn’t like it much,” he retorted, reflecting on his six years in Washington D.C. as a congressman.

After shaking hands with me and Alicia Halberg — the only visible press at the event — the Governor disappeared inside the meeting hall and Montgomery nudged me with her elbow.

“Isn’t he cool,” she beamed.

Clad in jeans, a dress shirt with monogrammed “Butch” cuffs, American flag cuff links, and an enormous gilded belt buckle, the Governor carried himself a bit like a cowboy. He exuded a likability reminiscent of George W. Bush’s good ol’ boy charm. Aw shucks. I found myself agreeing with Montgomery.

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Comments | Topics: Butch Otter, caucus, Caucuses

March 6, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Ron Paul signs rule rural Idaho

BOISE–The four hour drive from tiny, freezing Grangeville to huge and sunny Boise is a roller coaster of terrain, temperature and elevation. As Alicia Halberg wove her Chevy Blazer around the twists and turns of US 95, the views alternated between snowy cliffs and rolling yellow plains, the thermometer bounced from 23 to 42 degrees…

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Comments | Topics: caucus, Caucuses, Idaho

March 6, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Exit polls show evangelical Christians out in force today, Ohio mixed bag for Mitt and GOP

CNN is slowly dribbling out some information right now from early exit polls in Super Tuesday contests today. Here’s a couple quick nuggets of interest: About 45% of voters in Ohio identified as white evangelical Christians, per exit polls. That figure was 40% in 2008. — Nate Silver (@fivethirtyeight) March 6, 2012 Big test for Romney… RT…

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Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Caucuses, conservatives

March 6, 2012 at 6:35 AM

Ron Paul on message in Idaho, but some still pondering

Ron Paul speaks at a Town Hall in Sandpoint, Idaho on March 5, 2012

A packed house listens to Rep. Ron Paul at his first rally of three in Idaho today. (Photo by Alicia Halberg / UW Election Eye)

SANDPOINT — I wish I had started counting right away.

At a campaign stop Monday at the Bonner County Fairgrounds hall filled with a standing-room only crowd here in Northern Idaho, Ron Paul hammered President Obama and his Republican opponents on economic policies and highlighted abolishing the Federal Reserve — making the latter point what must have been more than 20 times.

But I started counting too late to know the exact tally. At minimum, it was more than enough to get the point across.

Fliers around the room and posted on the doors highlighted caucus locations in Bonner County, something which introduction speakers made very clear at the beginning of the event. Energy was high and many event attendees said that this was their first political event.

“Nobody ever comes to Sandpoint,” said one young attendee who preferred his name not be used. “Usually we would have to go to Coeur D’Alene or Spokane to see somebody this important. It’s great that he cares about small towns like ours.”

Paul stuck to many of his regular talking points — such as returning to the gold standard, and highlighting big government as the cause of today’s economic issues, not the solution — but he also took steps to tailor his speech to the Idaho crowd, something he rarely does.

“Sandpoint is a small town, but it’s an important one in the cause for liberty,” he said.

An introduction speaker said that Paul was the godfather of Idaho’s state’s rights movement.

The liberty-hungry crowd gave massive applause to abolishing federal welfare programs, even in this economically depressed region.

“When the government is small, the people are big,” Paul said. “The Founding Fathers didn’t intend for this to be a democracy; they wrote the Constitution for a republic … The bigger the government gets, the less liberties we have. We can’t fix everything by making the government bigger — it’s what got us into this mess in the first place. The government doesn’t have any money, it only has the money that it steals from people!”

The crowd went wild.

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Comments | Topics: Caucuses, conservatives, Evangelicals

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