I’ve gotten a few questions from people wondering why any Idaho candidate who’s a Republican would be interested in cross-party support, since the R’s hold such an overwhelming advantage in the state (“Candidates tout cross-party support”). Here’s why: There’s no political party with which a majority of Idaho voters identify. This year’s BSU Public Policy Survey found that 40 percent of Idahoans say they’re Republicans (down 4 percent from 2007), 28 percent say they’re independent (down 3 percent from a year earlier), and 25 percent say they’re Democrats (up 7 percent from 2007). Libertarians were at 1 percent; the remaining 6 percent were other, don’t know, or refused. That means any party candidate needs support from not just fellow partisans to win majority support in Idaho – support from independents and/or members of the opposite party also is required.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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