Donald Trump or Nikki Haley? How Idaho Republicans voted in the presidential caucus

Former President Donald Trump easily won the Idaho Republican presidential caucus, again proving to be the front-runner among GOP nominees despite his legal challenges.

With all precincts reporting, Trump has secured 85% of the votes, well above the majority of votes he needed to receive all of the state’s 32 delegates at the Republican National Convention, according to the Idaho Republican Party. Election results showed former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley received 13.2% of the nearly 40,000 votes counted, according to the party’s caucus website.

The caucus was held Saturday and run by the Idaho Republican Party after lawmakers last year passed a bill that mistakenly eliminated the presidential primary, and then failed to agree on how to reinstate the election.

Idaho GOP Chair Dorothy Moon said the results reaffirm Idaho’s support for Trump.

“We recognize that our state stands as a beacon of support for Republican ideals, reaffirming Idaho’s status as ‘Trump Country’ with his resounding victory in our caucus,” she said in a statement. “The enthusiasm and dedication of supporters in Idaho is emblematic of the strength and unity of our party.”

Many people who came out to caucus told the Statesman they were concerned about security at the U.S.-Mexico border, the economy and the nation’s debt. They called for change and criticized the direction the country is heading under Democratic President Joe Biden’s leadership.

“We’re in a big mess, a real big mess,” said Darwin Packard, as he waited outside of Borah High School in Boise to cast his vote. Packard told the Idaho Statesman he voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020. Trump is “the only one that is qualified to bring us out of this mess,” he said.

Although Trump and Haley are the only two candidates on the ballot who are still in the race, some Republicans still use their vote to support their first choice candidates. Other candidates on the ballot were Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ryan Binkley.

During the caucuses, some sites had brief videos playing from Trump and Haley, in which the candidates made the case for peoples’ votes.

In his nearly three-minute video, Trump went through many of his frequent talking points on the economy and the country’s borders. He went after Biden, calling him the “worst president in the history of our country” and said that under his leadership, the U.S. had become a “laughing stock all over the world.”

“Today you’re going to send a big signal to the entire world that this is your country, and it’s also Trump country,” he said in the video. “You’re going to send a message straight to crooked Joe Biden that we are coming like a freight train this Nov. 5.”

All other Idaho primaries will be held in May.