My Predictions for Idaho Primary Day
Brad Little wins. By a very large margin over a split field. The dark days of COVID in the spring of 2020 are now a distant memory for many voters. His decision to skip debates was based on strong polling numbers. He could afford to lose a few voters by declining to debate two of his opponents. If you don’t show up, you won’t have a moment where you potentially put your foot into your mouth. Had I been an opponent, I would’ve made property taxes and housing costs my campaign pillars. Then hammered at those two issues around the clock. It didn’t happen.
How Not to Conduct a Political Campaign
McGeachin squandered a tremendous opportunity. Long ago, I wrote a piece about a photograph she appeared in with two fellows in prison jumpsuits. They were making a point about a friend they believed was unjustly jailed. She agreed and I applaud her sympathy. I could also see the same photograph in 2022 mailings from opponents. When she found herself Governor for a day and banned some pandemic mandates, I thought it was great politics. The second time just made it look like a stunt. She also never seemed to realize you needed to win over some voters in the middle of a crowded field. She’s not alone. It’s the malady of the wing of the party calling itself the constitutionalists. I agree. They’re right. But winning hearts and minds is a subtle process.
Ed Humphreys could finish ahead of McGeachin. Ed is completing a tutorial on good campaigning.
Priscilla Giddings faces the same headwinds against Scott Bedke. He may not be the most charismatic candidate, but the public sees a familiar name and he opposed the Governor when Little put the brakes on the economy two years ago. She would’ve been much better off staying away from colleague Aaron von Ehlinger. If I see a fire, I try and getaway. My friends are angry because I didn’t get wholly behind her campaign. Again, they don’t appear to realize those middle-ground voters aren’t enraged by Bedke. If she had focused on her resume, she would be our next Lt. Governor. She got into the weeds over a colleague who behaved badly and that a court concluded behaved criminally.
The contest for the Secretary of State is a toss-up. Dorothy Moon is good in front of crowds and some of the latest attack ads against her may backfire on Phil McGrane, but there’s also a third candidate campaigning for the seat. Mary Souza and Moon are chasing much of the same demographic. Souza could put McGrane in office.
Raul Labrador wins handily. I believe this for several reasons. First, voters may believe Lawrence Wasden doesn’t need a lifetime appointment. Second, Art Macomber, the third candidate in the race for Attorney General, says Labrador is like a rock star. This is not a quote. I’m paraphrasing something similar to what Macomber shared with me on my show. Third, there are no pictures of Representative Labrador with guys in orange jail jumpsuits. His nose is clean. You can’t attack him for having his picture taken with someone the news media considers an extremist. He has a solid family life. He and Macomber are both very professorial. I think Art could be a great judge.
U.S. Senate. Did you know Mike Crapo had primary opponents? The challengers didn't have any money.
Up north, Russ Fulcher is a slam dunk for another term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Then we’ve got Mike Simpson versus Bryan Smith. I endorsed Smith. I would vote for Homer Simpson over Mike Simpson. I know a lot of GOP establishment types who don’t like Bryan. But when it comes to supporting Simpson, I hear crickets. We’ll have to see if big money from political action committees has an impact here. I’ll tell you one more thing. Smith doesn’t appear to be looking for ways to aggrandize himself. The other guy…
Superintendent of Public Instruction is a tough call. The incumbent doesn't seem to have many fans among any factions of the Republican Party. The news media has relentlessly painted challenger Branden Durst as a train wreck (I've got an ex-wife too!) Big money is behind Debbie Critchfield. It gives her the edge.