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Otter won’t release his own polls

Republican candidate for governor Butch Otter won’t release his own campaign polls, but he says they differ from Democratic opponent Jerry Brady’s newly released poll showing Brady taking the lead in the race. “The numbers are different, and we feel very confident that on Election Day the vote’s going to go our way,” said Jon Hanian, Otter’s campaign spokesman. “We have our own data but we’re not releasing it, the reason being that we think the only meaningful poll that is conducted is the one that happens on Election Day.” Hanian said it’s “not uncommon this time of year for candidates who are lagging behind in a race to release a poll in an effort to generate some kind of enthusiasm to their campaign.” Asked about Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s contention that his state’s example of electing a Democratic governor is spreading to states like Idaho and Colorado, Hanian said, “We’re not seeing that. We’re two days from the end of this 10-day, 74-city bus tour, and everywhere we’ve gone we’ve been greeted by large, very enthusiastic, vocal crowds. What we’re seeing in person and what we’re seeing in our own polling suggest that we’re right on schedule.”

Hanian also accused Brady of “distorting” Otter’s position on selling off public lands. Otter sponsored legislation in Congress to sell off lands, including 5 million acres in Idaho, to raise money to pay for damages from Hurricane Katrina, but after criticism from Brady and others, he withdrew his sponsorship. “I believe Jerry Brady’s own newspaper lauded Butch for coming out and saying that he made a mistake and he apologized,” Hanian said. “He made a mistake in his initial support of that bill, but he subsequently, after he looked into it and talked with more people, admitted that that initial support was a mistake. He not only got off the bill but he got other members of Congress who were supporting it off the bill, and so the bill is dead.”


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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