Idaho was among the states casting its votes for the Republican nomination on March 8, 2016. Michigan, Mississippi, and Hawaii contests were also taking place. It was revealed by CNN that Ted Cruz was the winner of the Idaho primary. There was an air of unpredictability in the Idaho voting turnout for the GOP.
Cruz turned out to be the winner, despite a lack of clear polls or indication beforehand. There was a noticeable lack of media coverage surrounding the Idaho primary. Among the GOP candidates, any prospective winners were up in the air for Idaho, due the unpredictable nature of this primary. KTVB 7 reported that Cruz had 43 percent of the vote, with Donald Trump trailing him at 29 percent, and Marco Rubio left with an 18 percent. Cruz had not released a statement, however, the win was not an upset, since he was expected to take the state as the early projections indicated.
The Idaho Statesman mused about the underwhelming voter turnout and media coverage, supposing that it might be due to the fact that the state has never had a primary this early in a presidential year before. They had no basis to turn to for data comparisons or predictions that Cruz would be the winner. There was a concern voiced by Statesman, that voters might not be aware of the Tuesday primary. An indication of that idea was the fact that absentee ballots and early voting requests were low this year. Ada County Chief Deputy Phil McGrane said that typically the only thing people would be voting for in March is levies and school bonds. There was a lack of concern from the candidates as well, perhaps due to the sparse 33 delegates at stake.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Cruz’s Idaho win was overshadowed Tuesday as the shocking news emerged that the perpetrator of a violent act, loosely connected to the Cruz campaign, was caught that afternoon. A local Idaho pastor who had been praying with Cruz at the Altar Church in Coeur d’Alene was shot in the head after his Sunday service. Luckily, Tim Remington, a well-known evangelical pastor will be expected to recover after being shot six times in the head and back. The pastor was shot by Kyle Odom, 30, a former marine who was arrested on March 8, at the White House throwing two suspicious items over a fence.
His family stated to CNN that he has a history of mental illness. Earlier that day he left a post on Facebook claiming that Pastor Remington was a Martian who had ruined his life. He was arrested in Washington D.C. by the Secret Service. In the days leading up to his arrest, it was of concern that the attack was politically motivated as Remington gave the opening prayer at a Cruz rally. With the recent developments, however, it was established that is not the case. It was reported shortly afterward that the pastor, despite his numerous injuries was fine, as all six shots missed vital organs. The pastor has regained consciousness and is talking to his family.
Marco Rubio visited The Gem State a total of three times to try and garner support, John Kasich showed up once and the bombastic businessman Trump didn’t visit at all. Ted Cruz, the winner, only visited once. However, the Idaho Statesman wondered whether the Republican Mormons, in east Idaho in particular, would answer Mitt Romney’s call to for all Republicans to band together to defeat Trump. Cruz has a total of 7 wins counting Idaho in the presidential nominee race.
Opinion by Juanita Lewis
Edited by Cathy Milne
KTVB: NBC News: Ted Cruz wins Idaho Republican primary
The Idaho Statesman: Idaho’s GOP primary: 5 things to watch for
CNN Politics: Idaho Election Center
Los Angeles Times: Pastor who spoke out for Ted Cruz is doing ‘absolutely fine’ after being shot in the head
Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License