Otter's lead over Allred shrinks in new independent poll

Idaho GOP Gov. Butch Otter's lead over Democrat Keith Allred has slipped to 11 percentage points, according to a poll commissioned by the Idaho Hospital Association by Republican pollster Greg Strimple.

Otter led 47 percent to 36 percent, the first time his support has dropped below 50 percent in polls that have become public.

The poll of 400 likely voters was conducted July 29 by GS Strategy Group, which has an office in Boise. Strimple has worked on various Republican campaigns across the country. The poll says there is a 95 percent chance that the sampling error falls within a range of plus of minus 4.9 percent.

A smaller sample in the 1st Congressional District put incumbent Democrat Walt Minnick ahead of Republican Raul Labrador by 23 percentage points.

The statewide poll suggests the governor's contest continues to narrow, with a baseline provided by three surveys from Rasmussen Reports. Rasmussen is a national firm that uses computer-generated phone calls to conduct its polls.

In Rasmussen's March survey, Otter led Allred 60 percent to 32 percent. In May, Otter led 54 to 32 percent. In a poll conducted July 15, Otter led 53 percent to 36 percent. Rasmussen says its surveys of 500 likely voters have a 4.5 percent margin of error.

Allred spokesman Shea Andersen welcomed the results and Otter spokesman Ryan Panitz said the poll that matters comes on Election Day, Nov. 2.


"As we've seen in numerous polls now, the Keith Allred momentum is undeniable. We're on the same trajectory we've been on since March.

"The more people learn about Keith Allred, the more they want to see him as Idaho's next governor. People see that he has Idaho values: lower taxes and a strong public education system.

"When voters compare Otter's dismal record on jobs and education to Keith Allred's story as an Idahoan who can bring government back to people, not special interests, then poll numbers like these are inevitable."

Panitz: "This poll is just a small snapshot of a much bigger picture! Governor Otter has a strong track record of making the tough and responsible decisions for all Idahoans unlike our Democratic opponent.”

“A poll is only that, a poll of a small group of people. Governor Otter commands a double-digit lead but in reality, the only numbers that really matter on are election day when the voters go to the polls.”

In the 1st District Minnick led Labrador 52 percent to 29 percent.

That's 13 points higher than a poll conducted for the Labrador campaign by GOP pollster Bob Moore July 12 and 13. Moore showed Minnick with a 37 percent to 27 percent lead.

But the IHA's sample of 200 -- assuming the pollster balanced the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts -- would have a margin of error of roughly 7 percent. Moore's margin of error for his sample of 300 likely voters was 6 percent.

Labrador spokeswoman China Gum said: "This poll is not consistent with polling that we've seen both internally and otherwise. We have major support on the ground and we continue to build momentum. As more and more voters learn how Minnick helps push the Obama/Pelosi agenda, they realize how out of touch he is with their values. Voters are recognizing who truly has the qualifications, background, values, and ideals that resonate with them and that's Raul Labrador."

Minnick spokesman John Foster: "As the run of recent endorsements from Idaho business leaders makes clear, Walt's already-strong support is growing. And the more people learn about Raul Labrador, the more their concerns about him grow. This poll reflects both those trends."

Strimple, the pollster, did not return a call requesting comment. IHA spokeswoman Toni Lawson said the poll was conducted for internal purposes. The main aim of IHA, Lawson said, was to test sentiment for House Joint Resolution 4, a constitutional amendment on the Nov. 2 ballot. HJR 4 would allow public hospitals to borrow money without a two-thirds vote, as long as they don't finance the debt with property taxes.

The Statesman obtained a copy of part of the poll from an anonymous source. The source did not provide the results on HJR 4.

Though the sample was small, the poll shows potential weakness for Otter in the Magic Valley. Asked whether they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Otter, 46 percent of respondents in the Magic Valley TV market said unfavorable, and 35 percent said favorable.

Statewide, 48 percent said they had a favorable opinion of Otter, with 33 percent answering unfavorable and 18 percent saying they had no opinion. In the Boise TV market, Otter's favorability to unfavorability rating was 53-33; in the Spokane market, 49-19; and in Idaho Falls, 44-42.

In other findings, the poll reported:

52 percent called themselves conservative, 28 percent moderate and 12 percent liberal.

38 percent identified as Republicans, 37 percent were independents and 19 percent were Democrats.

48 percent said they usually or always vote Republican, 23 percent said they were ticket splitters and 21 percent said they usually or always voted Democratic.

Asked to name the "single most important issue facing Idaho today" 31 percent cited unemployment/jobs. Next came the economy, at 20 percent; followed by quality of education, 9 percent; and health care, 6 percent. Five percent said "don't know."

President Barack Obama was viewed unfavorably by 56 percent of respondents and favorably by 34 percent.

60 percent said they oppose the new health care law; 30 percent favored the reform.

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30 years

Time for some new blood

Sounds like

A few more people are waking up to the fact that Otter is a political hack.

No rational person...

should support Otter.

Dump King Butch!

It's time for new leadership in Idaho. Maybe all of you that complain about the Republican Party will finally do the right thing. It's simple, folks, Get Out And Vote!

what in the world?

All inc*mbents out at all levels. Enough.

---------Wow! They made me take the c u m out of inc*mbents?

"You must remove the word *** before your comment can be posted"

Enough with the overkill.....

Tough editor!!

Enough with the potty-fingers, jimmyfan!!

Your momma should wash those fingers with soap!

(Hahahaha! Thank GOODNESS the young and sensitive readers weren't subjected to nasty-talk like inc-u-mbent!)


I couldn't use the term "Allre*ink" in my last post because "*ink" is apparently a bad word. d-i-n-k

the phone polls are missing

all the homes that use cell service instead of land lines like me and those voters are more likely to be independents rather than die hard republican voters.

cell phone users are more likely to be independents?

? Not sure that is the case, but it would probably mean even worse news for Otter and Labrador


of the good ole boy GOP. When Otter included Gwartney more actively in politics and especially state government he set the stage for his political demise. His subsequent actions have only added many in the GOP ranks who have moved away from supporting him. Just take a good look at the number of known GOP supporters for Allred and if the quiet GOP supporters were publicly known you would be amazed and understand why there will be and are a significant number of GOP voters voting for Allred.

numbers numbers numbers!

12 percent [called themselves] liberal

Asked to name the "single most important issue facing Idaho today" ... Five percent said "don't know."

Wow! That means more than half of the liberals knew what the single most important issue is!!

(Just funnin'... I know there are clueless conservatives, moderates, AND liberals out there.)

GOP doesn't even seem to know where they are

I just got a letter from the Ada County Republicans asking me to sponsor their "Harvest Roundup"...complete with photos of John Wayne and "The Rifelman" and passages about our "God given inalienable rights" and how they need "patriots like you" to "Take Back America".
The return address on the envelope was 1234 Main Street, Anytown, USA 99222. What the...? Perhaps with all their focus on Obama, Reid and Pelosi, they have forgotten about Idaho? I think Otter and Labrador are both suffering from a lack of focus from the GOP and the influence of fringe elements in the party. They need to get back to basics and stop with all this nonsense.

How about taking back Idaho!

Just another example of how Otter has abandoned Idaho to concentrate on the national issues over which he has one voice just like the rest of us. He's lost touch with Idaho citizens who are neither GOP nor Dems but independent voters concerned about Idaho issues not national issues. We need solutions not GOP rhetoric to the problems facing every day Idaho citizens.

I wonder why........

I wonder why this old alcoholic, convicted drunk driver is so popular in the Spokane market? why are they polling the spokane market anyway?

Spokane is the Capitol of North ID

North Idahoans use Spokane or Seattle to shop and for advanced healthcare. A trip to Boise from Couer D' Alane takes all day and the best highway is to go through Washington and Oregon. People from up North can be in Seattle via I-90 in under 4 hours or in Spokane in less than 2 hours from Lewiston via US195. They are both far better roads than the goat trail US95/Idaho55. North Idaho should not have been part of this state and should have been in Washington. North Idaho has very little loyalties to Boise.

I would imagine they poll Spokane because that is the media

market for Cd'A and other parts of North Idaho.

Spokane market

From Riggins north, Idaho citizens shop Spokane and that is their news media outlet, tv, newspaper and radio. Just another example of how divided Idaho is. Idaho could easily be 3 separate states with the diversity of interest, values and priorities.

Is Labrador completely unable to discuss anything

without mentioning Obama, Pelosi or Reid? For goodness sake, come up with some new talking points! I am sick and tired of hearing about Pelosi. I want to hear what Labrador has to say about anything he proposes, believes in...anything but this constant scat about Pelosi! Ms. Gum, what is Labrador's agenda????

Out with the OLD in with the NEW

It is my opinion this is comming none too soon. Good riddence to the OLD blood, time for Idaho to recieve a NEW transfusion! We no longer need the PARTY OF NO in our beautiful state. We have way too many people sucking Idaho dry. I also think the Mayor should get aboard his little trolly, and leave for parts unknown.

I still think Butch will get re-elected

This state isnt that smart. Plus there is such a backlash against the Democrats, Butch has a good shot if he doesnt screw it up, and he won't.

PS Labrador is un-electable.

thanks to Walt

Thanks to Walt Minnick many independent voters in Idaho are waking up to the fact that conservative Idaho democrats have more common sense than the wacko John Birch leaning republican leadership that is driving the ship of state into the borrow pit. Not only have they rewarded Micron for sending all of their manufacturing jobs out of the country but they seem to be determined to maintain Idaho's third world status by refusing to properly educate Idaho's children. And the governor thinks we can recover by selling spuds to China. What's up with that???