BOISE, Idaho -- Idaho Republicans stage their first closed primary Tuesday, but debate over voters being forced for the first time to publicly declare a partisan affiliation has been overshadowed by political theater emerging from within the state's dominant party.
There's internal GOP warfare, with House GOP leaders seeking to depose their own incumbents.
That's coupled with a flurry of late-campaign mailings, financed independently by libertarian-leaning political action committees and pro-business groups to give their favorites a leg up.
These developments mark the latest evolution of a four-year-old intraparty fight, in which conservative, tea party-influenced activists are seeking to remake the Idaho GOP in their image.
Meanwhile, establishment Republicans fear abandoning the broader message that helped them win four-fifths of the state Legislature since the early 1990s will undermine their cause.