Huffpost Politics

ID Caucus 2012: Mitt Romney Could Get Strong Challenge From Ron Paul

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March 6 (Reuters) - The race to win the Republican Party's presidential nomination to challenge President Barack Obama moves on to "Super Tuesday" when 10 states, including Idaho, hold primaries and caucuses.

Here are a few facts about the Idaho caucuses.

* Idaho's Republican Party moved the state's nominating contest to Super Tuesday to give the often overlooked northwestern state a voice in the nominating process. Historically Idaho has held a Republican primary in May, well after the nominee is usually established.

* Idaho has 32 delegates to send to the Republican National Convention. Delegates will be distributed proportionally after a process of several rounds of secret ballots and weeding out underperforming candidates. This will be Idaho's first Republican caucus.

* With a sizeable Mormon population, by some estimates almost a quarter of the state's 1.5 million population, Mormon presidential candidate Mitt Romney is expected to perform well in the state on Tuesday.

* Idaho is one of the three states that Ron Paul has predicted he could win. Caucuses often bring out activist voters, a demographic that plays well into Paul's libertarian camp. In 2008 Paul came in second in the state, behind John McCain, winning 24 percent of the vote.

* Idaho is a deeply conservative state. The state has not chosen a Democrat for the White House since 1964. In the 2008 presidential election Obama carried only three counties in the state.

* Idaho is one of the fastest-growing states in the country, with the population jumping 21.1 percent in 10 years. According to U.S. Census data it was overwhelmingly white, with 11.2 percent of the population Hispanic in 2011.

* Unemployment was 8.3 percent in Idaho in December 2011, just below the national average at the time of 8.5 percent.

(Reporting By Lily Kuo; Editing by Deborah Charles and Eric Walsh)

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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