Idaho Republicans are repeating their traditional voting behavior and coming home to their party as Election Day nears, a poll by a Democratic-leaning pollster says.
Public Policy Polling of Raleigh, N.C., polled Idaho in October and found Gov. Butch Otter leading Democratic Boise businessman A.J. Balukoff by only 39 percent to 35 percent. Its latest poll, conducted Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, found Otter now leads Balukoff 49 percent to 37 percent.
Nate Silver said Otter has a 94 percent chance of winning in his analysis of all polls at his FiveThirtyEight website.
In October, Otter was getting just 62 percent of the Republican vote, and now that's up to 76 percent, the PPP survey showed. Public Policy contacted 1,001 voters for the survey, which has a margin of error of 4 percent.
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Balukoff leads with independents 45 percent to 33 percent and has 87 percent of the Democratic vote. Former Canyon Prosecutor John Bujak has the support of only 5 percent of voters, and together he and other alternative candidates have only 10 percent. Five percent of those surveyed said they were undecided.
If Public Polling is right, only a remarkable turnout by Democrats coupled with a poor turnout by Republicans could make the race close. That’s despite only 44 percent of those polled saying they approve of Otter’s job performance, to 44 percent who disapprove.
When Public Policy asked undecided and third-party voters which way they lean in a two-person race, they break 55 percent for Otter to 42 percent for Balukoff, with 3 percent still undecided. Sixty-two percent of those polled said they voted for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, to only 30 percent for President Obama.
Republicans lead by double digits for the down-ballot offices in Idaho too, with the exception of Superintendent of Public Instruction. That race looks very competitive with Republican Sherri Ybarra leading Democrat Jana Jones 46 percent to 45 percent.
Former GOP House Speaker Lawerence Denney leads Democratic Rep. Holli Woodings 51 percent to 40 percent with 9 percent undecided, the poll said.