Perhaps not surprising with almost a year to go before anyone casts a ballot, a large plurality of Idahoans don’t know who they’ll vote for to be the state’s next governor, according to a recent poll.
Forty-five percent of the 649 people surveyed in early and mid-May don’t know who they’ll support, according to the poll, which was conducted by the Salt Lake City-based firm Dan Jones and Associates on behalf of Idaho Politics Weekly.
Sixteen percent said they would support Raul Labrador and 12 percent said Brad Little, the Republican congressman and lieutenant governor, respectively, who will compete in the May 2018 primary. Six percent each said Tommy Ahlquist, a Republican developer from Boise, and A.J. Balukoff, who ran as a Democrat in 2014 and has been mentioned as a possible 2018 candidate.
Four percent said Lawrence Wasden, the Republican attorney general who has not yet said what his 2018 plans are, while 2 percent said Russ Fulcher, the former GOP state senator who challenged incumbent Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter in 2014, and 1 percent said Troy Minton, a homeless man who lives in Boise and has filed to run as a Democrat.
Among just Republicans, Ahlquist, Little and Labrador do better, improving to 8, 18 and 22 percent respectively, but Wasden, who has clashed with the Republican governor and Legislature over a number of issues, does worse, dropping to 3 percent support.
A poll of likely Republican voters conducted by the Idaho Freedom Foundation in February found 39 percent support for Labrador, 27 percent for Little, 7 percent for Fulcher and 2 percent for Ahlquist. An online poll conducted by the Gem State Patriot in April found 51 percent support for Fulcher, 23 percent for Labrador, 15 percent for Ahlquist and 8 percent for Little. (It’s probably safe to assume the Gem State Patriot’s readership skews more conservative than the samples used in either of the other polls.)