Poll: Idaho Residents Don't Want Protections for Wolves

Most Idahoans don’t want wild wolves protected in the state, a new Idaho Politics Weekly poll shows.

In another matter, Idahoans are split over whether Congress or the Obama administration should create a Boulder-White Clouds national monument, located here.

And finally, by a narrow plurality Idahoans would like the U.S. Supreme Court to give Obamacare a body-blow and rule unconstitutional federal subsidies in states that currently don’t have state-run health care exchanges.

The survey was conducted by Dan Jones & Associates of 606 adults, March 20-26. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.98 percent.

Jones finds that 58 percent of Idahoans don’t want the wolf protected by the federal or state governments, 39 percent do want such protections, while only 3 percent didn’t have an opinion.

Such a small “don’t know” means Idahoans believe they are well versed on the wolf topic and have mostly made up their minds, one way or the other.

Idaho is a farming and ranching state, and ranchers have historically been one of the strongest groups opposed to reintroduction and protection of wolves – which are know to feed on livestock at times.

Republicans oppose protecting wolves, 72-24 percent; Democrats favor protecting wolves, 71-28 percent; while political independents oppose wolf protections, 53-44 percent.

In its 2014 wolf management report, seen here, Idaho wildlife officials say there are 104 wolf packs in the state, with a combined 770 individuals.

There are wolf hunts in Idaho, with the rules here.

However, as reported in Newsweek, January’s second annual special wolf hunt did not bag even one wolf, even though there were 125 hunters looking for wolves over a three-day period.

One of the hunt’s organizers said hunters didn’t even find one wolf track, much less sight one.

The special hunt brought in a reported 50,000 complaints, however, and led to the local BLM officials to deny the special hunt permission to hunt on those lands.

It’s clear from the new poll that few of those 50,000 complaints were coming from Idahoans themselves, however.

Meanwhile, wilderness advocates from across the nation have lined up in support of the Boulder-White Clouds national monument designation.

And many have asked President Barak Obama to make such a designation, if Congress doesn’t act before the president leaves office the end of 2016.

But Idahoans themselves are split on the issue: 40 percent favor such a national monument designation, 33 percent oppose and 27 percent don’t know.

The area, in the southern, central part of the state, is one of the last large no-road wilderness areas in the nation, advocates for the designation claim.

Republicans barely oppose such a designation, 40-32 percent; Democrats favor the new monument, 64-15; while political independents barely favor it, 40-36 percent; Jones found.

The issue of Obamacare providing federal subsidies in states that don’t have a health care exchange is complicated.

Idaho has such a health insurance exchange, called “Your Health Idaho.” You can read about it here.

In the case King v. Burwell, the plaintiffs argue that if a state doesn’t have its own health care exchange (34 states don’t), then they can’t get Obamacare subsidies.

If the high court sides with the plaintiffs, Obamacare is severely harmed – for states without such exchanges basically wouldn’t have to comply with the national health care law, since it wouldn’t be getting any money to help lower-income Americans buy private health insurance.

Jones found that 41 percent of Idahoans want the high court to find for the plaintiffs – and so strike a body-blow to Obamacare.

Thirty-six percent said the Supreme Court shouldn’t kill the federal subsidies and 23 percent didn’t know.

Idaho is a very red state. And so it makes sense that many Idahoans would want to kill Obamacare. And the case before the high court now would aid in that health insurance coverage death.

Jones found that Republicans want the high court to rule against the president’s plan, 49-29 percent; Democrats want the high court to rule in favor of Obamacare, 54-28 percent; and political independents are split right down the middle, 37-37 percent with the rest saying they “don’t know.”