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Category: politics

GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson is riding high in Idaho right now, a new Idaho Politics Weekly poll shows.

Among the major candidates – Republicans and Democrats – the retired neurosurgeon is the only one who gets a 50-percent-plus favorability rating among all Idahoans, finds pollster Dan Jones & Associates.

All the others fall below 50 percent in the favorability category – not a good sign, says Jones, who has polled in the Mountain West for 40 years.

Former First Lady, U.S. senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the most disliked (among all Idahoans) and the most liked (among Idaho Democrats), finds Jones.

So it is clear that in the Gem State, Clinton draws strong opinions, one way or the other.

Jones asked the top presidential candidates’ favorable and unfavorable rankings among all Idahoans.

But since it is Idaho Republicans who pick their party’s nominee, and likewise for Idaho Democrats, it’s more important how each candidate stands with their party’s rank-and-file in the state’s nomination battles.

Of course, all Idahoans will pick their general election candidate – and whoever the GOP nominee is will almost certainly win the state, past elections show.

Here are the numbers:

-- Carson: Among all Idahoans, 55 percent have a favorable opinion of him; 24 percent have an unfavorable opinion; 8 percent have heard of him, but have no opinion; 8 percent have never heard of him, 5 percent don’t know.

Among only Republican Idahoans: 73 percent favorable; 12 percent unfavorable; 7 percent heard of him, but no opinion; 5 percent never heard of him; 4 percent don’t know.

Subtract the unfavorable from favorable, and Carson has a plus 61 percentile point favorable rating – a good number among his GOP colleagues.

-- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio: Among all Idahoans, 44 percent favorable; 28 percent unfavorable; 14 percent heard of him, but no opinion; 9 percent never heard of him; 6 percent don’t know.

Among only Republicans: 57 percent like him, 13 percent don’t like him; 16 percent have heard of him, but have no opinion; 7 percent have never heard of him, 7 percent don’t know.

-- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz: Among all Idahoans; 35 percent favorable opinion; 35 percent unfavorable; 15 percent heard of him, but no opinion; 9 percent never heard of him; 7 percent don’t know.

Among only Republicans: 48 percent like him; 19 percent don’t like him; 16 percent have heard of him, but have no opinion; 8 percent never heard of him; 9 percent don’t know.

-- Donald Trump: Among all Idahoans; 41 percent have a favorable opinion; 53 percent an unfavorable opinion (a bad number for Trump); 4 percent have heard of him, but have no opinion; 0 percent have never heard of him; 2 percent don’t know.

Among only the Republicans: 52 percent favorable opinion; 42 percent unfavorable; 5 percent have heard of him, but have no opinion; 0 percent have never heard of him; 2 percent don’t know.

Now for the Democrats:

-- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders: Among all Idahoans; 38 percent have a favorable opinion of him; 39 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him; 9 percent have heard of him, but have no opinion; 8 percent have never heard of him, and 6 percent don’t know.

Among only the Democrats: 67 percent have a favorable opinion; 18 percent an unfavorable opinion; 6 percent have heard of him, but have no opinion; 6 percent have never heard of him; 4 percent don’t know.

-- Clinton: Among all Idahoans; 29 percent have a favorable opinion of her; 66 percent an unfavorable opinion (an awful number for her); 3 percent have heard of Clinton, but have no opinion; 0 percent have never heard of her, and 1 percent don’t know.

Among only Idaho Democrats: 79 percent have a favorable opinion of her; 16 percent unfavorable; 2 percent have heard of Clinton, but have no opinion; 2 have never heard of her; 2 percent don’t know.

So, Clinton bests Carson in their favorable percentage-point difference among their respective party members: Clinton has a 63 percentage-point difference to Carson’s 61 percentile difference.

Jones polled 595 adults between Oct. 28 and Nov. 4; the margin of error is plus or minus 4.02 percent.