The job approval ratings of Idaho’s four members of Congress are mixed; two are above 50 percent and two are below, a new poll by Idaho Politics Weekly shows.
IPW pollster Dan Jones & Associates finds that Sen. Mike Crapo – who just won re-election in November – has the highest job approval rating, 57 percent “strongly” or “somewhat” like the job he’s doing.
Thirty percent said they “strongly” or “somewhat” disapprove of his job performance.
Eleven percent told Jones they have heard of Crapo, but have no opinion of him, and 2 percent had never heard of him.
By national standards these days, any job approval above 50 percent for a member of Congress is pretty good.
Congress is not held in high regard, and recently constituents don’t give even their own congressional officeholders high job ratings.
For example, Crapo won re-election with 66 percent of the vote in November, but only 57 percent approve of the job he’s doing – a clear disconnect.
Idaho’s other senator, Jim Risch, has only a 46 percent approval rating; 25 percent disapprove of the job he is doing; 18 percent have heard of him, but have no opinion, and 11 percent of Idahoans have never heard of him.
U.S. House Rep. Mike Simpson of the 2nd Districts is considered a moderate compared to the more conservative Rep. Raul Labrador.
And Simpson’s job approvals reflect that: 53 percent like the job he’s doing; 24 percent disapprove; 17 percent have heard of Simpson but have no opinion; 5 percent don’t know him.
Labrador, whose opinion essays are sometimes posted in Idaho Politics Weekly, is clearly the most divisive of the four Idaho congressional Republicans.
Jones finds that 46 percent of his 1st District constituents approve of the job he’s doing; 32 percent disapprove; 17 percent have heard of Labrador, but have no opinion of him; and 6 percent have never heard of him.
Labrador is a member of the Freedom Caucus in the U.S. House – the archconservative group in the news lately for refusing to vote for the Pres. Donald Trump/Speaker Paul Ryan health care reform bill.
Without the Freedom Caucus support Ryan pulled the bill just before a House vote, saying he didn’t have the votes to pass it.
In fact, Trump singled Labrador out by name when he criticized several Freedom Caucus members, tweeting the caucus members had better get on board the new agenda or he may oppose them at re-election.
It was an interesting call out.
In Idaho’s 1st District, Trump has a 59 percent approval rating, better than Labrador’s 46 percent.
Trump’s tweet came AFTER Jones started polling in this latest survey – so Labrador’s health care actions are not reflected in these numbers, for or against him.
Jones finds that Labrador’s approval or disapproval is partisan, wth 66 percent of Republicans in his district approving of the job he’s doing, a good number.
But 65 percent of Democrats disapprove of the job he’s doing, the largest disapproval by Democrats among the four congressmen.
And consider this number: Labrador won re-election with 68 percent of the vote in November.
But today only 46 percent of his constituents think he’s doing a good job – a large 22-point swing between his votes and his job approval rating.
Clearly, Jones findings show Idaho’s congressmen got November votes from folks who today are less supportive of the job they are doing.
In the statewide Senate sample, Jones polled 628 adults from Feb. 16-28. That sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.91 percent.
In Labrador’s 1st District, Jones polled 300 adults, the margin of error plus or minus. 5.66 percent.
In Simpson’s 2nd District, Jones polled 328 adults, the margin of error plus or minus 5.41 percent.