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August 01, 2008

Risch Up Ten

How far will Democrats expand their playing field this year? Even in one of the better years the party is likely to have, making a serious race in Idaho could still be too much. But a new poll for the liberal website DailyKos shows it's not completely out of the question.

The survey, conducted by independent pollster Research 2000, was conducted 7/28-30 among 500 likely voters for a margin of error of +/- 4.5%. The sample included 48% Republicans, 23% Democrats and 29% independents. Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch, the Republican, was tested against ex-Rep. Larry LaRocco, a Democrat, and independent Rex Rammell, a rancher.

General Election Matchup
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind / Men / Wom)
Risch..........42 / 5 / 64 / 35 / 45 / 39
LaRocco.....32 / 81 / 5 / 38 / 28 / 36
Rammell........5 / 2 / 7 / 4 / 6 / 4

McCain........53 / 9 / 79 / 44 / 56 / 50
Obama.........37 / 85 / 7 / 48 / 35 / 39

Both major party candidates are popular with state voters. Risch is seen favorably by 45% of Gem Staters, while just 26% view him unfavorably, and LaRocco has a similarly positive 43%-21% favorable to unfavorable rating. Rammell, a conservative property-rights advocate, will take more votes from Risch than from LaRocco, but if Democrats are to have a real chance, he'll need to do better than the 5% he gets here.

A word about polls for DailyKos: With the rising influence of blogs, Kos has contracted a reputable pollster to conduct surveys of hot Senate races around the country. Research 2000 also conducts polls for television stations and newspapers across the country, so just because the poll is sponsored by a left-leaning organization, don't assume the numbers are any less valid than one of R2K's surveys for an independent organization.