North Dakota’s Republican caucus will be held on March 6, 2012, otherwise known as Super Tuesday. Other primaries that day include Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. There are 28 unbound delegates at stake in ND.
North Dakota is hoping for a good turn-out based upon recent history. Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have both recently visited the state. More on those visits here: “Paul talks hemp, federal regulation in ND visit.” There is no current polling available. In 2008, Romney won with 36% to McCain’s 23%. Paul followed with 21%, then Huckabee with 20% of the vote.
With two weeks to go before the North Dakota Republican Party caucus, party officials are finalizing preparations for what may be a record night for voter turnout. Matt Becker, communications director for the North Dakota Republican Party, said they may see statewide attendance at the March 6 caucus top 10,000 for the first time. Turnout in 2008 for the Republican caucus was 9,785.
“It’s an opportunity that doesn’t present itself very often to get in touch with so many people at one time. I think we’ll have a little bit more attendance than we did in 2008, especially since we’re looking at a four-person race all the way through,” Becker said.
Becker said party officials have analyzed how the caucus was run in 2004 and 2008 and have made some changes to ensure it runs more smoothly.The most visible change for caucus-goers is a longer period for voting. Polls open at 5:30 p.m. and close at 8 p.m. In 2008 the voting time was an hour shorter, with polls opening at 6:30 p.m. Becker said this is to encourage higher turnout.
Adding to the excitement, Becker said, are the recent visits by Republican presidential candidates to North Dakota. Rick Santorum visited Tioga and Fargo last week, while Ron Paul visited western North Dakota on Sunday and spoke briefly to Bismarck Republicans before their district nominating convention on Monday.