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Ted Cruz Beats Predictions, Wins Idaho GOP Primary

With nearly 40 percent of precincts reporting, Fox News called the Idaho Republican primary for Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a surprise win because the sparse polling of the state’s voters predicted that real estate developer Donald Trump was leading.

The rest of the field in Idaho shaped up with Donald Trump coming in second place, Rubio in third place, and John Kasich a distant fourth.

Due to the lack of polling, it was difficult to say who was going to take the Gem State’s GOP primary. One of the few surveys of Idaho voters was finished just before Super Tuesday by Idaho Politics Weekly.  The IPW poll found 30 percent of Republican respondents favored Trump, 19 percent supported Ted Cruz, 16 percent were pulling for Marco Rubio, and only five percent liked John Kasich. The final results, thoug, seem to have reversed the top two spots.

Like Mississippi, Idaho is not exactly a winner-take-all state. and like Mississippi, if a candidate in Idaho wins 50 percent plus of the primary vote, that candidate can take all 32 delegates.

But if no one gets over 50 percent, the delegates are awarded proportionately. On the other hand, candidates with less than 20 percent of the vote don’t get any delegates regardless.

But as of midnight eastern time, Cruz had only reached 41 percent of the vote and with Rubio and Kasich at 18 and seven percent respectively, if they had dropped out ahead of the Idaho primary, and even if only half their vote had gone to Cruz, the Texas Senator would have gotten all 32 of Idaho’s delegates.

This is the earliest Idahoans have had the opportunity to pick their Republican primary candidate and with that in mind, many watchers of Idaho politics were curious to see what the new election date would do to turnout. One also has to wonder how nearby Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse’s proclamation that he’d never vote for Trump might affect Idahoans.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com

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