In the midst of the hue and cry of the presidential election, the outcome of one Idaho race has drawn minimal attention, and that is the battle for Idaho Supreme Court between Rupert attorney Robyn Brody and Republican State Sen. Curt McKenzie.
Brody took the contest by garnering roughly 54% of the vote and running up an overall winning margin of around 40,000 votes.
I think her final margin may be a bit higher. The Idaho Secretary of State shows McKenzie taking 88% of the vote in Franklin County (near Bear Lake) generating a voting margin of 4,153. But, the Franklin County website shows his actual share at 59% and a margin of only 1,051.
Brody ran up a huge margin of 32,687 in Ada County alone. She also pulled in significant margins of 5,416 votes in Twin Falls County and 4,063 in Bannock County. Her neighbors in Minidoka County gave her 65% of their votes. Her top county was Blaine where she polled over 70%.
McKenzie’s biggest vote margin was in his home county of Canyon where he got 3,477 more votes than Brody, in percentage terms, 53% to 47%. He did win 24 of Idaho’s 44 counties with Bear Lake County giving his biggest percentage of 63%.
Overall, Brody won Treasure Valley and Magic Valley heavily and closely split North Idaho and Eastern Idaho as demonstrated by this chart:
|Area of the State||Brody Percentage||McKenzie Percentage||Actual Vote Margin for Brody|
* If Franklin County’s votes are what is shown on the county’s website, Brody won Eastern Idaho by a small margin. If that is accurate, Brody’s statewide margin will receive a small boost.
One observation: The falloff from the presidential race to the Supreme Court race was substantial. A total of 692,216 Idahoans voted for one of the candidates for U.S. President. Only 558,101 Idahoans voted in the Supreme Court race, a falloff of 134,115 votes or 19% fewer votes overall. In essence, one in five Idaho voters who cast a ballot on Nov. 8 skipped over this race. Very interesting.
How did Brody win? She raised more money and outhustled McKenzie on the stump, appearing in numerous parades, fairs, and public events. McKenzie relied on signage, i.e.,. billboards and individual signs. He benefited from a radio campaign by the Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry’s PAC. Brody spent her funds on television, radio and online.
Jason Lehosit, Brody’s Boise-based consultant, told me that she “was the hardest working candidate in this election cycle from beginning to end . . . She met with anyone, anytime and gave straightforward answers (as much as allowed by the judicial canons).” He points out that McKenzie focused on Republicans, while Brody appealed more broadly. One interesting statistic he shared: Brody drew significant attention on social media, roughly four times that drawn by McKenzie and topping social media success of the top of the ticket races in Idaho.
Please note: In the interest of full disclosure, I was involved in Brody’s preparation for the Idaho Public TV debate.