Idaho GOP Divided
Idaho will host its first closed primaries Tuesday and it isn't coming quietly.
It seems new party rules, like mandatory voter registration, are being overshadowed by warfare within the GOP itself.
More moderate Republicans are battling it out with right-leaning conservatives and creating a chaotic atmosphere this election season.
It's been festering for a while now.
Four years ago tea party conservatives burst onto the scene, toppling over moderate incumbents all over the country.
Now many Republicans are unhappy with how right-leaning the party has become and they are looking for a return to what the Grand Old Party used to be, while the Libertarian movement is still going strong.
The Associated Press calls it "political theatre emerging from within the state's dominate party".
Post Register columnist Corey Taule is calling for voters to come together, writing "we're all Republicans now."
Either way you put it, the Republican party is divided.
Political consultant Rebecca Casper chalks it up to Independents leaving the party, creating a very red base.
"Those who find themselves squarely in the middle now find themselves edged out. They're right there on the borderline of almost being Independents and they resent that. They want to be identified as Republicans," said Casper.
Tuesday's closed primary isn't narrowing what has become a canyon separating voters, especially since one-third of Idahoans consider themselves as Independents.
In his plea Sunday, Taule begs this group to "grab the wheel," to register and vote.
Casper said despite party differences, the future remains bright for the GOP.
Tuesday's primaries will be the real test though.
The combination of redistricting creating new races and frustration with the state legislature has several new faces and more more moderates running for office.
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