Using selective figures, Idaho GOP declares 'victory' on turnout

Voter turnout in Tuesday's Idaho primaries may have hit a record low — due largely to new rules that restricted the GOP primary to registered Republicans only.

But that didn't stop the GOP from claiming success on the voter turnout front — although the party had to cherry-pick numbers to get there.

On Tuesday, some 144,500 votes were cast in Idaho's GOP congressional races. And, as the GOP correctly notes in a news release, that is a marked increase from 2008, when 126,573 votes were cast in the congressional races.

But the turnout for GOP congressional races was also about a 9 percent decrease from 2010, when 158,746 votes were case in GOP congressional primaries.

Normally, a comparison between 2008 and 2012 might hold water, since both years are presidential years. But since the Idaho GOP held its first-ever presidential caucus in March, taking the presidential race off the 2012 ballot, there's an apples-to-oranges element to the comparison.

Read for yourself. Here's the GOP's news release, in full:

Today the Idaho GOP praised the high level of participation in the Republican primary, particularly in the two congressional races. Even without competitive top-of-the-ticket races on the ballot, Republican voter turnout in yesterday’s primary increased from 2008, the last Presidential election year.

During yesterday's primary, 144,500 votes were cast in the two Republican congressional races. In 2008, the number was 126,573, according to the Secretary of State’s website. That is an increase of nearly 15 percent for Republican voters. On the other hand, the total Democrat primary votes in the congressional races dropped by over one-third from 2008 to 2012.

“This increase in the number of Republican voters in the two congressional races demonstrates the excitement and enthusiam that exists about our prospects for making Barack Obama a one-term president. We continue to build upon the momentum from our first-ever straw poll and the historic Super Tuesday Presidential Caucus in March, which included the nation's largest ever caucus in the state's capital city," said Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko. “But most of all, it shows that Idahoans are tired of the overreaching, big government policies of Barack Obama. The dramatic lack of Democrat turnout in Idaho is due to the anchor of Obama's failed liberal policies continuing to weigh them down.

Voter registration favored the Idaho GOP 10 to 1 before the primaries and will only balloon after the results from yesterday. We continue to invite all Idahoans to join us in the cause of liberty, freedom and economic prosperity as we work to defeat Obama and elect candidates that will continue to fight for our Idaho values.”

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Lets see the percentages or

Lets see the percentages or numbers in relation to registered voters.

I am straining to understand why the State funds private electio

If an election is to choose a public official or public measure, then it is a public election. If the election is to choose a political party's candidate, then it is a private election and should be paid for privately. Any party that advocates limited government and wise use of tax money should agree with this.

out-of-touch with Idaho Citizens

Reminds me of the New York socialite who famously stated “I don’t know how Nixon won…I don’t know anyone who voted for him (they voted for McGovern). Alas, my fellow Republicans who run our Party in Idaho are out-of-touch with Idaho Citizens.

I just read the Republican news release...

..and I think I'm going to throw up. How do you spell it? D-e-l-u-s-i-o-n-a-l.

Me too...

I hope we all throw up in the right direction!

Idaho ultimately becomes West Virginia

....and look at West Virginia: people & companies leaving, no outside investment incoming (unless coal prices rise), hooked on the federal teat (courtesy of the late Senator Byrd), family formation very, very difficult (no jobs, parents raising grandkids)...didn't need to happen because West Virginia is surrounded by growing, progressive, advancing states. Forget the explanation about political parties (in WVa = Democrats)...just worthless, delusional leadership. The wingnuts, xenophobes, and "c.a.v.e. people" take over....same as Idaho.


Cherry picking.... Sounds like an Idaho Statesman move.

No wonder you were able to recognize it KR.

Keep up the good work. ha.


Was not on the ballot, except for the the "habitually offended" and you know who you are. Right Kevin?

The caucus

had much more to do with it than the closed primary (which around 27 other states have).

Good cherry picking

The congressional primary in 2008 had more in common with this year's primary than 2010 did - no seriously contested congressional races in 2008 or 2012 as there was in 2010. Along with the fact the presidential primary was removed from the GOP ballot, I would say the GOP made the best choice possible for a statistical comparison on voter turnout.

2010 is by far the best comparison for this data.

There were no presidential nominees on the ballots this year.
Plus there was the drama within the GOP races and all of the in-fighting there.

The real story here is that the Idaho Republicans want to deflect as much as possible by focusing on the Democrats instead of themselves.

Quite delusional and amusing at the same time!!!