Is Idaho turning into a blue state?
In the May primary election, several polling places in overwhelmingly Republican Idaho scrambled to supply enough Democratic ballots as the party saw a surge in interest. In recent years, some Idahoans have worried that the influx of Californians is shifting the state to the left (though there’s evidence of the opposite).
Idahoans who are registered as members of conservative parties — Republican, Libertarian and Constitution Party — constitute 53 percent of the state’s 815,657 voters. Libertarian and Constitution voters make up just over 1 percent of that total, according to voter data from the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office.
In contrast, voters registered with the state’s only liberal party, the Democrats, make up nearly 12 percent of Idaho’s total registered voters. (Other liberal parties, such as the Green Party, have failed to meet Idaho’s minimum legal requirements to participate in elections.)
Idaho also has quite a few unaffiliated voters. They make up 35 percent of the electorate.
Only two cities in Idaho have larger populations of liberal voters than conservative ones: Ketchum, the ski town in south-central Idaho, and Lapwai, the seat of the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho’s Panhandle. And though Boise is considered by some to be the liberal hub of the state, only 17.2 percent of Ada County voters are liberal, compared with as much as 21.3 percent of voters in Shoshone County who are registered Democrats.
We looked at party registration for the 100 largest cities in towns in Idaho to find the most conservative places in the state — where Republican, Constitution and Libertarian voters outnumber Democrats at least 10 times over.
Keep in mind that not all of these registered voters participate in every election, nor do they always vote along party lines.
Know your conservative Idaho cities
- Challis — 58 miles south of Salmon in Custer County. Population: 1,041
- Menan — 18 miles north of Idaho Falls. Population: 781
- Montpelier — 86 miles southeast of Pocatello. Population: 2,506
- St. Anthony — 39 miles northeast of Idaho Falls. Population: 3,504
- Ashton — 53 miles northeast of Idaho Falls. Population: 1,055
- Sugar City — 32 miles northeast of Idaho Falls. Population: 1,361
- Malad City — 106 miles south of Idaho Falls. Population: 2,072
- Preston — Seat of Franklin County, 8.6 miles from the Utah border. Population: 5,354
- Council — Capital of Adams County, 125 miles northwest of Boise. Population: 818
- Rigby — 15 miles northeast of Idaho Falls. Population: 4,062
- Grace — 105 miles southeast of Idaho Falls. Population: 910
- Rexburg —Seat of Madison County in southeast Idaho. Population: 28,222
- Moyie Springs — 33 miles south of the Canadian border. Population: 742
- Soda Springs — 56 miles southeast of Pocatello. Population: 2,982
- Firth — 15 miles southwest of Idaho Falls. Population: 466
- Kooskia — 70 miles southeast of Lewiston. Population: 651
- Burley — Seat of Cassia County in southeast Idaho. Population: 10,464
- Paul — 5 miles north of Burley. Population: 1,202
- Shelley — 9 miles southwest of Idaho Falls. Population: 4,342
- Grangeville — Seat of Idaho County in the Idaho Panhandle. Population: 3,139