The matchups are set for Idaho's general election

What we learned from the primary
Posted at 4:59 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-17 08:51:50-04

The primary created a few surprises, maybe not who won but certainly the margin of victory in a couple cases surprised political analyst Jasper LiCalzi, plus Ada County got a big surprise with the turnout to vote on the democratic ticket.

"This was as competitive and open primary that I've seen in twenty-five years in Idaho," said LiCalzi a professor at the College of Idaho. "The stakes were high."

Two open seats fueled a spirited race as Governor Butch Otter did not seek re-election and there was no incumbent for the First Congressional Seat vacated by Raul Labrador.

LiCalzi was surprised that Republican Russ Fulcher won the primary for the First Congressional Seat by collecting 43 percent of the vote and Gubernatorial candidate Democrat Paulette Jordan defeated A.J. Balukoff nearly 12,000 votes.

"They are the two races that really struck me," said LiCalzi."

Republican Lieutenant Governor Brad Little will face off against Democrat Paulette Jordan for a spot in the Governor's Office.

One of the biggest stories is new excitement surrounding the Democratic Party and how many young people and women got together at the HandleBar to celebrate Jordan's victory.

"If the Democrats are looking long term I think they can be optimistic," said LiCalzi. "However, short-term they are still going to lose in November."

In Ada County, voter turnout was up on both tickets, but almost 30,000 people showed up to vote on the Democratic ticket, almost three times as many people that voted four years ago.

This caused some problems as some of the precincts started running out of ballots causing election officials to start printing more ballots while people waited in line, everybody who stayed in line was allowed to vote.

"We were prepared for double at all our polling places," said Phil McGrane the Chief Deputy Clerk for Ada County. "We never could have imagined there would be such an increase in turnout."

McGrane said one of the biggest challenges is trying to figure out which precincts would get bogged down by voters in either party, McGrane said this was a good learning experience that will help them prepare for the election in November.