Want to win next year’s Idaho lieutenant governor’s race?

Pretty easy.

Just officially change your name to “Don’t Know.”

That’s the overall leader today, a new Idaho Politics Weekly poll by Dan Jones & Associates shows.

In fact, “Don’t Know” is an overwhelming winner at this stage: Eleven months out from Election day, but only about five months from the May primary election.

Jones finds:

59 percent of Idahoans don’t know who they will vote for the second-most important job in Idaho’s administration.

The rest of the announced or considering candidates are not even a close second-place.

Jones finds:

  • Steve Yates, the former state Republican Party leader, has 13 percent support.

  • State Rep. Kelley Packer comes in at 7 percent.

  • State Sen. Marv Hagedorn is at 6 percent support.

  • That ties with former Constitution Party candidate Steve Pankey (also at 6 percent).

  • Former state Rep. Janice McGeachin has 4 percent support.

  • And “Other” has 5 percent.

Clearly, the race is very open – with the likelihood that the eventual winner will be a Republican.

For the GOP has held the LG post in Idaho for some time.

Yates, who is identified as a former state GOP chair, gets 22 percent of just the Republican vote in the survey.

So he has that much to count on going into next year’s campaigning.

All others are down in single digits among party favorites.

As Idahoans know, GOP Gov. Butch Otter is retiring next year.

And Lt. Gov. Brad Little has announced he’s running for that open seat in 2018.

So, the LG slot will also be an open seat.

And in recent history, LGs have gone on to win other major offices in the state.

Thus the interest in what in other states can be kind of a dead-end job – waiting for the real boss to retire or resign to get a shot at the top state executive post.

Clearly, who is the most effective campaigner next year will decide which among the early LG candidates/interested folks will step up to be the next Idaho lieutenant governor.

And, just as clearly, there are no favorites right now – although Yates has some support to draw on this early in the contest.

Jones polled 619 adults from Nov. 8-15. The survey statewide has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.94 percent.