Kodiak Daily Mirror - Super Tuesday presidential voting arrives in Kodiak today
  
Super Tuesday presidential voting arrives in Kodiak today
by James Brooks / editor@kodiakdailymirror.com
Mar 06, 2012 | 80 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KODIAK — The 2012 presidential election rolls into Alaska today at 4 p.m. as Super Tuesday voting opens across the state. Republicans will decide which candidates earn Alaska’s 24 delegates to the Republican National Convention.

In town, the show will be in the Kodiak Harbor Convention Center, which is hosting the poll.

Gail Brandt, vice president of the Kodiak Republicans, is organizing things.

“I certainly would love to see a big turnout,” she said, but admits she doesn’t know what to expect.

In 2008, about 14,000 Alaskan Republicans turned out to vote in the state’s first presidential primary since a switch from a caucus model to a straight poll. Almost 44 percent of voters picked Mitt Romney. Second was Mike Huckabee at 22 percent. Ron Paul received 17 percent of the vote.

In House District 36, which covers Kodiak Island, there are 2,967 registered Republicans and 1,157 Democrats. Almost 4,000 Kodiak voters are undeclared, and another 1,600 are nonpartisan.

Bob Brodie, a longtime Republican who is maintaining his distance from the race this year because of his involvement with the state’s redistricting board, said he doesn’t know what will happen in today’s election, but, “I expect the Ron Paul people to turn out in force.”

That expectation is partially borne of Paul’s interest in Alaska, which showed up last weekend as the candidate made appearances in front of packed crowds in Fairbanks and Anchorage.

Kodiak’s Dana Carros was one of a handful of Kodiakans who flew north to hear Paul give an address on his familiar topic of limited government.

“It was awesome,” Carros said. “There was standing room only.”

Carros paid for a Ron Paul ad on Kodiak radio station KVOK-FM but said he doesn’t know if he will campaign today.

“I’ll be out there to vote, but that’s all I know right now,” he said.

Brandt said the balloting today is open only to Republicans, but there will be on-site registration for any Alaskan who wishes to participate. Voting is between 4 and 8 p.m., and ballots will be tallied on-site. The results will be called in to Anchorage for inclusion in statewide polls.

Later this month, Kodiak Republicans will gather for their district convention and select delegates to the state Republican convention, scheduled for April 26-28 in the Anchorage Hilton Hotel.

There, delegates will be chosen for the national convention, picked proportionally by the percentage of Alaska’s vote they received. If a candidate receives 40 percent of the vote, he will receive 40 percent of Alaska’s 24 delegates.

Early polling has been limited, but the New York Times’ blog Five Thirty Eight, which aggregates national polling during its reporting, predicts Ron Paul and Mitt Romney will emerge with eight Alaska delegates apiece, followed by Rick Santorum with five and Newt Gingrich with three.

This year’s nomination process has been lengthy compared to others in recent history, and Alaska delegates could play a key role in the national convention. If no candidate receives a majority of 1,144 delegates by the time of the Republican convention, political maneuvering could make Alaska’s votes important. Under Republican rules, Alaska delegates are bound to the state vote for two ballots, then are free to be swayed to different candidates.

“Alaska has more delegates than 15 states,” Carros said. “So it’s actually important to vote this year.”

Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at editor@kodiakdailymirror.com.

IF YOU GO

The Republican presidential preference poll in Kodiak runs from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Kodiak Harbor Convention Center. Only registered Republicans can participate, but same-day registration is available.

Volunteers are also needed to help set up at the convention center or to conduct the poll. Contact Gail Brandt at gailb@gci.net if you would like to help.
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