Thursday, February 7, 2008

Idaho and Obama

I know it's been a while since my last post - chalk it up to a super-hectic schedule and long hours spent on snow removal. What a winter.

Other events besides our epic amounts of snow have caught my attention in recent days. Surely I'm not the only one who was surprised by the Super Tuesday's results from Idaho, the reddest of the red states. More than four times as many voters showed up to caucus as did in 2004 -- nearly 30,000, according to the Idaho Statesman.

Obama captured 80 percent of Idaho and easily won all of the state's 23 delegates to the Democratic National Convention. It was one of Obama's most decisive Super Tuesday victories.

Here's the view from the New York Times' Timothy Egan:

Take a look at what happened on Tuesday in the nearly all-white counties of Idaho, a place where the Aryan Nations once placed a boot print of hate — “the international headquarters of the white race,” as they called it.

The neo-Nazis are long gone. But in Kootenai County, where the extremists were holed up for several decades, a record number of Democrats trudged through heavy snow on Super Duper Tuesday to help pick the next president. Guess what: Senator Barack Obama took 81 percent of Kootenai County caucus voters, matching his landslide across the state. He won all but a single county.

The runaway victory came after a visit by Obama last Saturday, when 14,169 people filled the Taco Bell Arena in Boise to hear him speak – the largest crowd ever to fill the space, for any event. It was the biggest political rally the state has seen in more than 50 years.

“And they told me there were no Democrats in Idaho,” Obama said.

Egan says those numbers "make a case for Obama’s electability and the inroads he has made into places where Democrats are harder to find than a decent bagel."

Read Egan's whole piece here.

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