Monday, February 9, 2015

Idaho Republican Party Votes to Return to Presidential Primary, but...

The Idaho Republican Party State Central Committee voted in favor of a resolution over the weekend to shift back to a state-funded presidential primary as its means of allocating national convention delegates in 2016. This happens after a one cycle hiatus. The party switched to a caucuses/convention system in order to have an earlier contest in 2012.1

However, the vote did come with a catch. The reversal -- Republicans returning to the primary -- is contingent upon the state legislature passing legislation providing for an earlier primary. The Gem state has traditionally held consolidated presidential and other primaries in May throughout the post-reform era. But legislation drafted last week would create a separate presidential primary that would be held on the second Tuesday in March.

The Idaho situation now mirrors in some respects the situation in Michigan. The state Republican Party endorses a move, and it is up to a Republican-controlled state government to make that happen. That partisan convergence does not necessarily mean the measures will pass in either state, but it does seemingly make passage easier on the surface.

UPDATE (2/12/15): Second, similar primary bill proposed in Senate
UPDATE (2/25/15): Second, similar primary bill passes Senate committee 
UPDATE (3/3/15): Second, similar primary bill passes Senate

1 That move by Gem state Republicans prompted the repeal of the presidential primary by the state legislature. Democrats in the state have utilized caucuses for years.

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