OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The last test for Republican presidential contenders before Super Tuesday next week is Washington, a solidly Democratic state known for its mountain ranges, good coffee and independent-minded voters.
In a year when the presidential nominating process has been a roller coaster, Washington state's caucuses and nonbinding straw poll, which normally don't get much attention, will be center stage on Saturday. The crowded primary race makes its first stop in the Pacific Northwest days after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's two victories in Arizona and Michigan primaries.
Washington has 43 delegates to the Republican National Convention, making it the second most-valuable state among those voting before Super Tuesday.