In general, Idaho Republicans want to keep the federal government out of their personal lives, and especially out of their business operations.
But one exception to that sentiment is when it comes to federal agricultural price protections – then a slight majority of Idaho Republicans want even more price protections than is now the case, according to a recent Dan Jones & Associates poll, commissioned by Idaho Politics Weekly.
In addition, despite the importance of immigrant agriculture labor in Idaho, Republicans don’t want more immigrants working in local agriculture, and they don’t want more refugees brought into the state.
Some of the numbers in the Dan Jones & Associates poll:
-- 48 percent of all Idahoans want increased price protections for the state’s agricultural industry – a very important industry in rural Idaho.
-- Only 15 percent are against higher federal price support, while 37 percent are “neutral” on the issue.
Among those who told pollsters they are Republicans:
-- 51 percent want greater price support, 16 percent area against the idea, and a third are “neutral.”
-- Democrats want even more government price protections than do Republicans, with 54 percent in favor of more support, 10 percent against, and 36 percent “neutral” on the issue.
-- Political independents, interestingly enough, are more circumspect on the agricultural price support issue; 44 percent are “neutral,” only 40 percent in favor, and 16 percent against.
Democrats and Republicans differ greatly on questions of more immigrants working in agriculture in the state and more refugees being welcomed into Idaho:
-- 51 percent of Republicans say no more immigrants working on farms and ranches, 22 percent favor more immigrants, while 27 percent are “neutral.”
-- Democrats are the opposite, with 50 percent wanting more immigrants on the land, 15 percent opposed, and 36 percent “neutral.”
-- Independents are split; 34 percent agree that more immigrants should be working the land, 26 percent are opposed, and 40 percent are “neutral.”
Among all Idahoans, 32 percent say there should be more immigrants working the land, 36 percent are opposed, and 32 percent don’t know one way or the other – so even splits there.
The question of Idaho taking in more refugees produces real differences in the political party loyalists:
-- Republicans say no more refugees, 68-to-13 percent, with only 19 percent undecided, or “neutral.”
-- Democrats want their state to take in more refugees, 53-to-17 percent, with 30 percent “neutral.”
-- While 42 percent of political independents say no more refugees, 26 percent want more, and a third are “neutral.”
Overall, half of all Idahoans say no more refugees, 24 percent want to take in more, and 26 percent are “neutral.”
Finally, pollsters asked how Idahoans feel about continuing to take in nuclear waste for processing and whether wildfire management funding should be increased.
-- 48 percent said they want to continue taking in nuclear waste, which provides a significant number of jobs; 15 percent said no, while 37 percent were “neutral” on the issue.
-- 70 percent support greater funding for wildfire management, only 10 percent are against it, and 20 percent don’t know.
Pollsters surveyed 629 Idaho adults from Sept. 26 to Oct. 8. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.87 percent.