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Biden selected as nominee in Idaho Democratic caucuses

By The Associated Press - | May 25, 2024

FILE - The Idaho state flag hangs in the State Capitol in Boise, Idaho, Jan. 9, 2023. Voters in Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon and Georgia and will hold state primaries on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, to choose nominees for U.S. House and other contests. (AP Photo/Kyle Green, File)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Democrats on Thursday selected Joe Biden as their their nominee for the White House, giving the president more delegates after he already clinched his party’s 2024 nomination.

Biden won the state Democratic caucus with 95% of the vote in a low-turnout election with just over 2,400 votes cast. The win gives the president all 23 delegates at stake.

The caucus was structured a bit differently than previous Democratic caucuses. Instead of listening to speeches and moving to various parts of the room to show their support for a candidate, voters were given ballots to fill out their choices.

Only registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters were allowed to participate. Unaffiliated voters first had to sign a pledge saying they are participating as Democrats and have not participated in any other presidential nomination contest this year. Voters who are 17 years old are allowed to caucus as long as they will turn 18 before the general election on Nov. 5.

That is different from Idaho’s Republican caucus, held earlier this year. The Republican caucus allowed only registered Republicans to vote, and they had to be at least 18 at the time of the caucus. Former President Donald Trump won all of Idaho’s 32 GOP delegates at the March 2 event.

Biden will face a steep hill to climb for Idaho’s general election. The Republican presidential candidate has won the deep-red state in every election since 1968.

Democrats in Idaho utilized caucuses for years but switched the presidential contest to a primary for 2020. Biden won with about 49% of the vote, compared with roughly 42% that went to U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Both the Republican and the Democratic parties had to caucus this year, however, after state lawmakers inadvertently scrapped the state’s primaries during the 2023 legislative session. The error happened when lawmakers were trying to change the date of the state’s primary from March to May, but the new date wasn’t included in the bill.

By next year, Idaho’s closed presidential contests could become a thing of the past. A voter initiative that would open the state primaries and switch the state to a ranked-choice voting system is expected to be on the general election ballot this fall.


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