Former Idaho Lt. Gov. David Leroy has a double-digit lead among Republicans in the state’s 1st Congressional District, a new Idaho Politics Weekly poll shows.
But the race is still wide-open, as 54 percent of 1st District voters don’t know whom they will support for the post in 2018.
Meanwhile, most of Rep. Mike Simpson’s 2nd Congressional District residents favor his re-election next year – good news for the incumbent.
U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador has decided to retire from the U.S. House and is running for governor next year.
Idaho is a heavily Republican state, and whichever Republican wins the 1st District nomination is likely to win the seat in the November 2018 general election.
The new survey by IPW pollster Dan Jones & Associates finds:
-- Leroy is favored by 21 percent of the 1st District residents.
-- Former state Sen. Russ Fulcher has 12 percent support in the 1st District.
-- State Rep. Luke Malek is liked by 8 percent.
-- 5 percent mentioned someone else (not yet declared).
-- And 54 percent said they are still undecided for whom they may vote for next year.
This early in a race name identification plays a big part, and Leroy has been on district-wide ballots before.
An officeholder always wants to be above 50 percent in the “naked re-elect” poll category – when no other candidate is matched against him, says Jones, who has been polling in the Mountain West for 40 years.
In that category, Simpson is doing well with his 2nd District constituents (he has won re-election handily in recent elections).
-- 56 percent of 2nd District residents “strongly” or “somewhat” want Simpson re-elected.
-- 33 percent (a third) disapprove of his re-election in 2018.
-- And 10 percent don’t know.
Back to the 1st District GOP match-up, Jones finds that among Republicans only Fulcher does slightly better, around 15 percent.
Leroy also does a bit better among his own party members, around 25 percent.
Only registered Republicans can vote in a party primary election.
But Democrats and political independents can change their party registration and vote in the primary, if they do so early enough in an election year.
Fulcher is slightly down among Democrats and independents than he is among Republicans.
While Leroy is about the same, finds Jones.
In any case, in all the demographic numbers, a majority of 1st District voters don’t know whom they like in the open seat next year.
Jones polled 301 1st District residents from Nov. 8-15. That district has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.65 percent.
He polled 297 adults in the 2nd District, with that sample having a margin of error of plus or minus 5.69 percent.