Another Idaho Election Update
With just under two weeks to go before the election, it looks like Idaho may be getting ready to surprise some people. I've been talking a lot about the 1st District Congressional race matching Larry Grant against Bill Sali, but the race for Governor looks like it's heating up as well. According to a recent poll, Democrat Jerry Brady leads current 1st District Congressman "Butch" Otter by two percentage points -- within the polls margin of error, but still a significant improvement for Brady since the same polling organization showed him down 19 points in June.
The Larry Grant - Bill Sali race has been drawing the most national attention, though. The recent inclusion of Mr. Sali on the GOP "Watch List", along with the National Republican Congressional Committee's expenditure of over $340,000 on Sali's behalf, indicates that the national party knows that he's in trouble -- as well they should. This is a district that gave President Bush 69% of the vote in 2004, and Mr. Sali can't get above 50% in the polls. His performance in the televised debate last night surely didn't help him at all:
The evening got off to an awkward start when Sali insisted on reading a statement tarring Grant as liberal and comparing him to Bill Clinton, despite objections from the moderator, who twice told Sali that opening remarks were not allowed.Supporters of Mr. Sali are continuing their barrage of negative advertisements, so it's hard to predict who will win. I think, though, that the news of Jerry Brady's improvement in the polls indicates that Idaho may very well be getting ready to send a message to the national Republican Party that traditional Republicans are sick of the fiscal irresponsibility and strategic incompetence of the current crop of Republican leaders in Congress.