Most Idahoans don’t want three-term GOP Gov. Butch Otter to run for a fourth term in 2018, a new Idaho Politics Weekly poll shows.
Otter, currently the longest serving governor in the nation, has not yet announced his election plans, although he is not expected to run again. Otter has served over 10 years, winning three, four-year terms.
Pollster Dan Jones & Associates finds in a new survey that 54 percent of Idahoans say Otter should not run again.
Thirty-seven percent – just over a third – of Idahoans want Otter to run again, 8 percent don’t know.
Jones also finds that 56 percent of Idahoans approve of the job Otter is doing as governor.
And 54 percent approve of the job performance of the GOP-controlled Legislature, which adjourned last week..
Idaho is one of the most Republican states in the nation – with all four members of Congress, all statewide offices, and large legislative majorities being Republicans.
While relatively popular at a 56 percent approval rating, Otter has enjoyed higher approval ratings in his long career.
It may be a case of voter fatigue for Otter, who served in the Legislature, then U.S. House, and as lieutenant governor, before being elected governor in 2006. Otter, 74, has been in one public office or another for 45 years.
Even Otter’s own Republican Party members are split over whether he should run again next year.
- 48 percent of Republicans want Otter to run again, but 43 percent say he shouldn’t.
- Democrats say Otter should retire, 84-12 percent.
- Political independents want Otter to step down, 54-39 percent.
- And members of other political parties want him to retire, 54-33 percent.
Jones actually finds no majority demographic group in favor of Otter’s re-election.
The closest are those who self-identified to Jones that they are “very conservative.”
Among that group, 50 percent say Otter should run again, 45 percent say he should retire.
Moderates are against another Otter term, 57-30 percent.
While those who said they are “very liberal” want the governor to retire, 74-10 percent.
Meanwhile, Republicans do believe the governor is doing a good job – 78 percent approve of his job performance, with only 12 percent of Republicans thinking Otter is doing a poor job.
The Democratic minority doesn’t like Otter much; 71 percent disapprove of his job performance, only 21 like the job he is doing.
Political independents say he is doing a good job, 51-38 percent.
For an amorphous political body, the Idaho Legislature gets pretty good job ratings, Jones finds.
In the just-completed session, the GOP-controlled state House and Senate increased public education funding by 6.3 percent and removed the sales tax from groceries, giving a $79 million tax cut to citizens.
You can read a roundup of legislative action here.
Accordingly, Idahoans are feeling pretty good about their part-time lawmakers.
- 54 percent approve of the job lawmakers are doing, 30 percent disapprove, 14 percent have heard of the Legislature but have no opinion, and 2 percent have never heard of the Idaho Legislature.
- Among Republicans, 76 percent approve of legislators, 10 percent disapprove.
- Democrats, 66 percent disapprove, 21 percent approve.
- Political independents, 47 percent approve, 38 percent disapprove.
- And among members of other political parties, 48 percent approve; 22 percent disapprove; and 25 percent have heard of the Legislature, but have no opinion of them.
Jones polled 628 adults from Feb. 16-28. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.91 percent.