BOISE -- Idaho's Republican Party holds its convention starting Thursday in Moscow. Analysts say some big changes could be coming to the party and leaders need to reunite the GOP.
KTVB political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby says the conflicts you'll see up north started back in 2008 when a number of Tea Party delegates won control of the Idaho GOP state committee.
Coming into the May primary elections, Weatherby talked about how some of the most critical elections were for the precinct committee spots. That's because party committees set the party direction, platforms, and select candidates for elections.
In the primaries, a lot more traditional conservatives beat Tea Party candidates for those committee spots. That means the GOP committee could shift back from the far right. If that happens, it would happen at this week's convention, as everyone gets together, elects a chairman, and sets the platform.
But, the sometimes nasty primary campaigns between Republicans can't just be forgotten during this convention, can they?
Weatherby says that will be the big mission of the party during and after the convention.
It will be interesting to see after this convention, can the Republican Party unify? said Weatherby. There are some sharp differences here, particularly among some of the most conservative members. They are very reluctant to compromise, thinking that compromising compromises your principles, and that's a bad thing, and they criticized other Republicans for having done that in the past.
But, that may be tough, considering there are going to be some battles in the convention, particularly over the party's platform; like possibly returning the country to the gold standard, repealing the 17th Amendment, or opening the party's closed primary.
There are some really controversial items there, and apparently these delegates are going to weigh in to these and other issues, said Weatherby. Whoever succeeds here, whichever wing of the party succeeds, will set the direction for the next two years in the Republican Party. These are substantive, particularly the argument over whether or not Idaho should continue the closed primary.
The Idaho Republican convention runs through Saturday.
There are a couple notable speakers at the convention, Mike Huckabee and Sen. Rand Paul.