Some quick thoughts as we wait for Idaho results
MELISSA: We’re hanging out at the Riverside Hotel at the Boise Republican Party election night party. As polls start to close around the state and we start to hit refresh on the Secretary of State’s page, what are you watching for, Seth?
SETH: The campaigns are putting up signs, the local politicians are slowly trickling in and the nervous tension that normally floats through the air before polls close is very evident. We haven’t received much info on voter turnout outside of the odd anecdote, but it looks like the people here are grabbing a drink and settling in for a good night.
MELISSA: Michigan and Mississippi polls have already closed for the night, and as you’ve likely seen, Trump had a good day. But the Trump campaign had more of a presence in those two states. Idaho didn’t get much attention from Trump, other than a tweet about how much he likes Idaho potatoes. He didn’t visit Idaho, and his campaign page didn’t put up an Idaho voting site until the last few days, and that information was plagiarized (without permission or attribution) from a 2012 Boise State Public Radio story, as first reported by Idaho Reports. Even the “Quick Points” sidebar on his Idaho page had misinformation for voters. Will that hurt him in Idaho, though? We’ll see in the next few hours.
SETH: The interesting thing that is going on in the Michigan numbers is every candidate that gets over 15% of the vote will get delegates, unless someone receives more the 50% in which case that person would take everything. If the votes we see now hold up, the only person who will be blanked in michigan is Rubio. Mississippi works a little differently. They have no winner takes all number and their threshold for delegates was recently changed to 10%, but right now that means only Trump and Cruz are on track to get delegates out of the state.
MELISSA: Idaho has proportional delegates, but a candidate must get at least 20 percent of the vote to get any delegates at all. And there are two chances for a winner-take-all scenario. Like Michigan, if a candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, he’ll walk away with everything. Also, if there’s a plurality in which just one candidate gets more than 20 percent of the votes and everyone else gets less than 19.9 percent, that single candidate could still walk away with all of the 32 delegates. (That rule, by the way, seems to have been designed to save the majority of Idaho’s delegates for establishment favorites, but tonight, that could backfire if only Cruz and Trump get more than 20 percent, leaving the picks from Idaho’s GOP establishment — Kasich and Rubio — with no delegates at all.)
SETH: As the Polls close in the southern half of the state it’s important to remember that Idaho still has another hour of voting up north. We’ll be with you for the long hall tonight. Check out our live stream if you just can’t get enough of us, we’ll be doing are best live newscaster impressions tonight!