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September 01, 2008

Idaho Still Ruby Red

Idaho Senator Larry Craig's arrest in the Minneapolis airport, though, doesn't look like it will have a negative effect on the GOP's chance to hold his now-open seat, a new poll from the Gem State shows.

The poll, conducted by Greg Smith & Associates, surveyed 600 likely voters between 8/18-22 for a margin of error of +/- 4%. Smith has worked for Republican candidates in the state, though this poll was not conducted for any candidate. Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch, the Republican nominee, was tested against Democratic ex-Rep. Larry LaRocco and independent candidate Rex Rammell.

General Election Matchup
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind)
Risch............41 / 27 / 52 / 37
LaRocco.......29 / 51 / 18 / 31
Rammell..........3 / 4 / 2 / 1

Neither candidate has solidified their political base, though if Risch is able to pull Republicans together he would easily win the race in such a GOP-heavy state. Risch leads in every region of the state except for the North Central area, also the least populated region in Idaho.

It's no surprise that Risch is leading by a wide margin. The race is actually a rematch of the 2006 contest for Lieutenant Governor, in which Risch beat LaRocco by a wide 58%-39% margin. This year, Democrats look better off targeting First District Rep. Bill Sali, a vulnerable incumbent, than the open Senate seat.