Pres. Donald Trump may want to think about spending some time in Idaho.
An Idaho Politics Weekly poll finds the controversial president is quite popular here.
He has a 59 percent approval rating, with 41 percent of Idahoans disapproving of the job Trump is doing as president, and only 1 percent not having an opinion, finds pollster Dan Jones & Associates in a recent survey for the weekly online political newsletter.
Among Idaho’s major officeholders, only Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson get higher approval ratings than does the president, who easily won Idaho in the 2016 election.
Statewide, here are Jones’ results, approval over disapproval of major officeholders:
-- Trump, 59-41 percent approval.
-- Pence, 61-30 percent approval.
-- GOP Gov. Butch Otter, 55-39 percent approval.
-- U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, 57-30 percent approval.
-- U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, 53-29 percent approval.
In his 1st Congressional District, Rep. Raul Labrador, 52-37 percent approval.
In his 2nd Congressional District, Simpson gets 63-27 percent approval.
Here are some observations:
-- One might think that Otter would do better than a 55 percent approval rating, considering his long service as governor and his announcement that he won’t run for another term as governor this year. But Otter has vetoed a legislative-given tax cut and made a few other controversial decisions of late.
-- As we’ve seen in other Jones polls in Idaho, Trump’s popularity is quite different between men and women – no doubt because of the president’s disparaging comments about women during his 2016 election campaign.
Jones finds that 64 percent of Idaho men give Trump “strongly” or “somewhat” approval ratings.
But only 52 percent of women do.
Trump is disliked by 23 percent of men.
However, 47 percent of Idaho women disapprove of the president.
Pence also sees a gender split here:
-- 67 percent of men approve of the vice president, but only 56 percent of women do.
All the other major officeholders see about the same support among men and women.
Except, that is, for Labrador – who is leaving the U.S. House in 2018 to run for governor.
Jones finds that 55 percent of men in his 1st District approve of the job Labrador is doing, but only 49 percent of women do.
In previous head-to-head match-ups in the governor’s race, Labrador is ahead. Although by far, most Idahoans haven’t made their picks in that contest.
Finally, as might be expected, Trump is well-liked among Idaho Republicans, greatly disliked among Democrats, with political independents being found in the middle:
-- Among Republicans, Trump is approved of 86-14 percent. That has to be one of the highest partisan approval ratings for the president among the 50 states.
-- Democrats really dislike the president, 89-10 percent.
-- While independents disapprove of Trump, 51-47 percent.
Labrador, who is a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus in the House, also is viewed by his 1st District constituents in a highly partisan manner:
-- Republicans like Labrador, 70-21 percent.
-- But Democrats dislike him, 72-14 percent.
There are so many Republicans in Idaho – one of the reddest of states – that should Labrador win the GOP nomination for governor next year, he can be elected without Democrat votes.
Still, Labrador gets only a 46-43 percent approval among political independents in his district, Jones’ new poll finds.
And he’ll need some independent votes to win the governorship, it would seem.
Look at the difference among opposite-party support between Labrador and Simpson:
-- Only 14 percent of 1st District Democrats support Labrador.
-- But 52 percent of 2nd District Democrats like the job Simpson, also a Republican, is doing, while 39 percent disapprove of Simpson’s job performance.
That is quite a difference, and shows that Simpson is not seen as partisan or conservative by his voters as Labrador’s constituents see him.
Statewide, Jones polled 619 adults from Nov. 8-15, for a possible margin of error of 3.94 percent, plus or minus.
In the 1st District, Jones polled 301 adults for a possible margin of error of plus or minus 5.65 percent.
And in the 2nd District he polled 294 adults, for a possible margin of error of plus or minus 5.69 percent.