BOISE -- Iowa's Republican Caucus is six days away. It s the first chance Americans have to vote on a Republican challenger to President Barack Obama. And while Iowa is far away from Idaho, what happens there could affect what happens in the Gem State.

Idaho became much more relevant this presidential cycle because it moved up its caucus from May to March.

Dr. David Adler, Director of the McClure Center for the University of Idaho, says that puts Idaho in the game, per se, when it comes to helping to select a Republican challenger to President Obama.

I'm very excited about the fact that Idaho is in the game, said Adler. It ought to be. It brings a strong western view. Idahoans have the opportunity to raise their voices, illuminate their concerns, their demands and that forces the candidates to respond to Idahoans' wishes.

A CNN/TIME poll released Wednesday shows a dramatically different scene in Iowa than just three weeks ago.

At the beginning of the month, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had a 13 point advantage over Mitt Romney who was in second place, with a lead of 33 percent to 20 percent.

Now, Gingrich has dropped to a distant fourth after weeks of negative campaign ads from Romney and Congressman Ron Paul, who now occupy the top two spots.

By the time Idaho Republicans have their turn to vote on March 6, Super Tuesday, the field of candidates could be different.

Still, as Adler says, Idaho's GOP is in a much better place now with an earlier caucus to voice its opinions than it was four years ago.

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