Why President Trump Cannot Afford to skip a trip to Idaho Now
The upcoming May primary attracts significant national attention to the usually ruby red off-the-radar Gem State. How Idahoans will vote will be a reflection of a broader political question. How influential is an endorsement from President Donald Trump in a state primary?
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A more significant question would be, 'why hasn't President Trump visited Idaho either as president or as someone who has endorsed a candidate for Idaho governor?' As someone who has advocated for a Trump visit since 2016, I believe our state is long overdue for an instate appearance.
Why hasn't the president visited Idaho? Political insiders tell us that Idaho is a victim of its success. Other states, even Montana, have competitive campaigns for the hearts and minds of their voters. Idaho is the rarest of the rare, a state with a super Republican majority; because of that, most national Republicans avoid Idaho to focus on states with competitive races between Republicans and Democrats.
Idaho has had presidential visits from President Obama (twice) and President Biden. Democrats hope that a presidential visit will revive a political party that is slumping, except for the liberal strongholds of Boise and Sun Valley. So far, the Biden and Obama have not inspired a renewed sense of Democratic passion.
The Gem State should not be punished for its Republican domination. Our state should be the first stop for every national Republican seeking office. It's easy to visit a state like Ohio or Pennsylvania.
President Trump inserted himself into the Idaho political universe with his endorsement of Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin. He owes it to the Idaho political community to live up to his commitment by visiting Idaho before the primary. Otherwise, his endorsement rings hollow in a world where everyone listens to what's going on in Idaho.
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