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ID: Savoring a Vote That Matters

By David Brown
Idaho hasn't had a meaningful say in a Democratic primary race since 1976, when one of its senators, the late Frank Church, ran for president against Jimmy Carter. For years, the state's Democratic caucuses limped along, with one-fifth of the state's counties in any given election season unable to muster enough interest to hold one.

Tonight, however, Democrats will caucus in all 44 counties.

The decision to move the caucuses to Super Tuesday is the main reason. However, Barack Obama's standing-room-only rally at the 14,000-person arena in Boise on Saturday lit the party afterburners. It was the first visit by a primary election candidate in many Democrats' memories. The four phone lines at Democratic headquarters in Boise have been lit up almost continuously since then with people seeking information about the caucuses, said Chuck Oxley, the state party's communications director. Some people think the turnout may be 10 times higher than last time, when about 5,000 people caucused.

Idaho is split between Pacific and Mountain time. Results are due by midnight local time, so the fate of the state's 18 delegates being chosen today may not be known until late. Five superdelegates will be named later.

Idaho's Republicans will vote in a primary on May 27.

By Washington Post editors  |  February 5, 2008; 4:22 PM ET
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