Sunday, August 15, 2010

Idaho Governor Race

Race of the Day

Idaho Governor

August 15, 2010
79 Days Until Election Day

Status: Republican Incumbent
2008 Presidential Result: Red State (West)

Outlook: Safe Republican

Idaho is known for it's potatoes and recently for electing (mostly) Republicans. That is certainly the case at the Gubernatorial level as a Democrat has not been elected to the state's top job in 20 years. Nobody expects that streak to be broken this year, although the incumbent's margin of victory for reelection will likely feature some protest votes against him.

Four years ago, Republican Butch Otter accomplished a long-time goal and was elected Governor. Otter and his young new bride, a former Miss Idaho, moved to the Governor's House to take the reins of power in Boise. This year, Otter won renomination to a second term, although other GOP candidates took over 45 percent of the vote against him.

The Democrat candidate for the job is a somewhat little known lobbyist and former college professor named Keith Allred. Polls show him significantly behind Otter, although the incumbent's total level of support is not overwhelming. A couple of conservative candidates, who seem to feel that Otter is not well enough to the right, will be on the ballot as Independents and may very well combine to take over 10 percent of the total vote. I will not claim to know the specifics of the current Idaho state political scene.

Four years ago, late polling had shown the race for the open contest to be surprisingly competitive, but Otter pulled away at the end and won by nine points. This is certainly not a year that is poised to elect a Democrat as Governor of conservative friendly Idaho, and thus, the contest does have to be considered as "Safe Republican" at this time.

Otter ("A Man for Our Times") campaign link:

2010 Governor races predicted thus far: 4 D, 7 R
Predicted Gubernatorial totals thus far: 11 D, 13 R