GOP lawmakers who voted last year in favor of the state health insurance exchange weren’t more likely to draw primary challenges this year after all, Idaho Statesman reporter Dan Popkey reported on Sunday; he calculated that 36 percent of those who voted “no” drew primary opponents this year – identical to the 36 percent who voted “yes.” “This is the ultimate reality check,” House Speaker Scott Bedke told Popkey.
The numbers give the lie to widespread predictions that the exchange votes would spell trouble for GOP lawmakers in this year’s Republican primary election on May 20. The Idaho Freedom Foundation, a strident opponent of the exchange, targeted a number of “yes” voters with billboards in their districts; in one of those districts, District 27, all three incumbent Republicans are unopposed both in the primary and in the November general election. Popkey’s full report is online here.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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