This must be how we know we have a hot race in Idaho for the 1st Congressional District: Two new polls are out today, showing opposite results. One, conducted by Greg Smith & Associates Sept. 25-30 of 200 likely Idaho voters, showed incumbent Rep. Bill Sali leading Democratic challenger Walt Minnick, 51 percent to 39 percent. The other, conducted by Harstad Strategic Research Inc. Sept. 25-28 of 400 registered Idaho voters, showed Minnick leading Sali, 44 percent to 38 percent.
The Greg Smith poll was commissioned by the Idaho Republican Party, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 7 percent. The Harstad poll was commissioned by the Minnick campaign and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent. Smith said his poll shows that “Bill Sali is ahead – he is ahead, period.” Harstad said their poll, which also showed Sali with 38 percent favorability ratings to 41 percent unfavorable, “reveals Sali’s unique vulnerability.”