Sometimes the light bulb in my head doesn’t turn on until after the on-air light shuts off.  A pair of radio guests on Wednesday morning told me it’s increasingly unlikely that Idaho will have a presidential primary next year.  The option for both major political parties is more cumbersome caucuses.  Most of the voter reaction I’m hearing is disappointment.  Voters like primaries.

One of my guests was Idaho House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel.  She would also like to see a primary.  A Democrat, she explained her national party committee needs an answer from Idaho this month.  Otherwise, a caucus is the only choice for Democrats.  Republicans have until October to notify the Republican National Committee of a potential primary.

The Republicans control both houses of the Idaho Legislature.  It would be GOP leaders who would decide on a special session to restore a primary.  Right now, the party plans a March caucus.  If Republican leadership waits until Labor Day to call a special session, a party primary can still be scheduled.  The Democrats would be stuck with a caucus as their calendar will have expired!

Primaries are expensive.  The cost is covered by taxpayers.  A caucus is expensive.  The cost is covered by the party conducting the event.  Of course, when has one party ever worked to inconvenience the other?  The ramifications of what the Minority Leader told me didn’t sink in until after the show.

Now, if President Biden only has token resistance, a caucus is simply an exercise in civics.  If he’s pushed aside or steps aside, expect a Chinese fire drill.

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