DC, 4 states voting for GOP presidential nomination ahead of Super Tuesday

Former President Donald Trump campaigns in South Carolina on February 23. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
1 of 2 | Former President Donald Trump campaigns in South Carolina on February 23. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 29 (UPI) -- Super Tuesday is days away, but the race for the Republican presidential nomination heats up Friday when the District of Columbia opens polls for its primary.

Four states will also hold caucuses over the weekend through Monday, setting the stage for 15 states and one territory to award their delegates next week on Super Tuesday.


Former President Donald Trump has handily won all Republican caucuses and primaries in the nominating cycle up to this point. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has vowed to remain in the race through Super Tuesday.

The District of Columbia will hold three days of voting, opening Friday and closing on Sunday. Polls are open to registered Republicans only. Voters must have been registered with the party by Feb. 16.

There is no mail-in or early voting.


Nineteen delegates will be seated at the Republican National Convention, held July 15-18 in Milwaukee. Delegates will be awarded proportionally unless a candidate receives more than 50% of the vote. In that case, the candidate will earn all 19 delegates. A candidate must receive at least 15% of the vote to earn delegates.

Saturday caucuses

Republican Parties in Michigan, Idaho and Missouri are holding caucuses on Saturday.

Dorothy Moon, chairwoman of the Idaho Republican Party, said there is a lot of enthusiasm among voters to participate. She hopes that enthusiasm will result in a high turnout.

"We sent out more than 580,000 postcards to Republicans. Usually in a caucus, we get about 10 to 15% turnout," Moon said. "We would be excited with that."

Moon adds that her party would be especially excited to surpass the roughly 60,000 votes in neighboring Nevada's Republican caucus.

Saturday will be the first time Idaho's Republican Party has held a caucus since 2012. It is also the first time it has ever held a firehouse caucus, or a caucus funded and operated by the party rather than the state government.

There will be 210 venues throughout the state where caucuses will take place. Some have as many as 70 volunteers overseeing their execution while the smallest, more rural precincts may have "a couple handfuls" of people participate, Moon said.


"People want to see how it turns out. Maybe this is the way Idaho goes in the future," she said. "Firehouse caucuses are very appealing. Paper poll books are appealing. The ballot box is appealing. Idaho takes their civic duty very seriously."

Caucus locations will open at 11 a.m. PST, and must remain open for at least 90 minutes. Voters must be affiliated with the Republican Party prior to Jan. 1. Voting continues until all voters who have checked in have cast their ballots. There is no mail-in voting.

Idaho will send 32 delegates to the national convention.

Missouri is also hosting caucuses on Saturday. Committees from 114 counties and the city of St. Louis will conduct the caucuses and 54 delegates will be seated as a result. Caucuses convene at 10 a.m. CST.

To participate in the Republican caucus, voters must sign a pledge of allegiance to the Republican Party.

The pledge reads, "I, do hereby pledge my allegiance to the Missouri Republican Party. I believe in the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and a strong national defense. I commit to upholding the values of the Republican Party and to working to advance its goals."


Tension in Michigan

The caucus process in Michigan is embroiled in turmoil this year. A factional divide in the state's Republican Party has set it up to hold two separate conventions on Saturday.

One convention, affiliated with newly elected Chairman Peter Hoekstra, will take place at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids. The other, headed by recently ousted Chairwoman Kristina Karamo, is being held at Huntington Place in Detroit.

Hoekstra was elected the party's new chairman on Jan. 6.

Karamo in January sent cease-and-desist letters to Hoekstra and members of the state party, accusing them of defamation, copyright infringement and trademark infringement. The allegations claim that Hoekstra and others are unlawfully representing the state GOP.

The Republican National Committee officially recognizes Hoekstra as chairman of the party.

On Tuesday, Kent County, Mich., Judge Joseph Rossi affirmed the decision that Hoekstra was properly elected to unseat Karamo. Rossi issued a preliminary injunction against Karamo, ordering that she cannot identify herself as the party's chairwoman or access party bank accounts.

Thirty-nine of Michigan's 55 delegates will be awarded in Saturday's caucus. The RNC has signaled that it will only seat delegates based on the results of the Hoekstra-led convention. Sixteen were on the line in the state's primary earlier in the week.


Monday in North Dakota

North Dakota is the final state to vote for its preference among Republican presidential candidates before Super Tuesday. Polls open for Monday's caucus from 4 to 7 p.m. MST. There is no early voting.

Twenty-nine delegates will be awarded through the state's caucus process. Candidates will be awarded delegates in proportion to the share of votes they receive. However, if a candidate receives 60% of the vote or more, they will receive all 29 delegates.

"As citizens, we have a responsibility to one another to vet the candidates running for the highest office in the land. March 4 is our chance to say who that person should be," Robert Harms, chairman of the North Dakota Republican Presidential Caucus Committee, said in a statement.

Eight candidates completed the requirements to appear on the ballot. Those requirements included filing with the Federal Elections Commission, gathering 10 signatures from members of the state's Republican committee and submitting a $20,000 payment to the state Republican Party.

Along with Trump and Haley, six more candidates qualified to appear on the ballot: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, pastor Ryan Binkley and Air Force Reserve Maj. David Stuckenberg.


All but Stuckenberg have suspended their campaigns.

Latest Headlines