Next year’s race to replace Idaho GOP Gov. Butch Otter is wide open, with 45 percent of voters saying they “don’t know” who they support at this time, a new Idaho Politics Weekly poll shows.
While that may be expected, what is not is that several so-called “big name” candidates are not doing well this far out from Election Day, finds a Dan Jones & Associates survey conducted for the weekly political newsletter.
For example, Jones finds:
- Only 16 percent of Idahoans support U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, who represents half of the state.
- Only 12 percent prefer Lt. Gov. Brad Little.
- And only 4 percent support Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.
One may expect those three high-profile officeholders to do better – especially Labrador, who won his re-election last November to the 1st Congressional District with 68 percent of the vote.
Here’s how the rest of the field shakes out now:
- Boise doctor and builder Tommy Alquist, a Republican, 6 percent.
- 2014 Democratic gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff, 6 percent.
- 10-year state GOP Sen. Ross Fulcher, 2 percent.
- Homeless candidate Troy Minton, a Democrat, 1 percent.
- 7 percent of the respondents named someone other than the so-far declared candidates.
- And 45 percent said they don’t know who they favor at this time.
The primary elections are just under a year away, and party voters will get to pick their nominees then.
Jones finds that among Republicans only, Labrador, Little and Alquist do better, but Wasden actually does worse:
- Among his own GOP members, Labrador gets 22 percent support.
- Little has 18 percent support.
- Alquist has 8 percent.
-- But Wasden drops to just 3 percent support.
Polling this early – before campaigning has really begun – is mostly about name identification.
Still, one would think that Labrador – based on getting 68 percent of the vote last year in half of the state – would be doing better than just 16 percent support among all Idahoans.
It should be noted that Alquist was the developer/builder of Boise’s new, tallest building – the Zions Bank Building. And Zions Bank is a sponsor of Idaho Politics Weekly.
Jones’ poll is an unbiased, scientific survey – with Jones being one of the best and respected polling firms in the Mountain West, in business for more than 45 years.
Jones polled 649 adults from May 4-18. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.85 percent.