A new month brings new polling figures in Idaho’s 1st Congressional District, and thing are looking up for Republican nominee Raul Labrador.  Idaho’s only local political polling agency, Greg Smith and Associates, released its latest poll, taken Monday and Tuesday of this week, which found that Labrador is leading Democratic incumbent Walt Minnick by 12 percentage points, though about 30 percent of respondents remain undecided as to who they will support in November.

The poll, released Wednesday, was taken among 400 people in Idaho’s 1st Congressional District, which makes up the west portion of the state, and stretched from Idaho’s southern border with Nevada to the state’s northern border, which bumps up to Canada.  Smith found that Labrador received support from 36 percent of respondents, as well as an additional 4 percent who replied that they are leaning toward the Republican.  About 24 percent of those polled favored Minnick, a number complemented by 5 percent who said they are leaning toward the Democrat.  Among respondents, 30 percent said they were undecided and 1.5 percent said they favored another candidate.  Two other men running for Minnick’s seat, Libertarian Mike Washburn of Boise and Independent Dave Olson from St. Maries, were not mentioned in the poll findings.

The announcement by Smith and Associates is a reversal from a poll released earlier this year, prior to the Republican primary election.  That poll found that approximately 50 percent of those he polled at that time favored Minnick, and only 20 percent said they would support “The Republican Candidate.”

Wednesday’s poll may not necessarily be an indicator of Minnick’s true standing with voters, however.  One month before Minnick ousted Republican Bill Sali from the seat in 2008, Smith’s polling among 200 likely voters in the district found that Sali enjoyed a 51-39 lead over his challenger.  Minnick went on to defeat Sali 51-49 on election night.   In 2006, Smith found Democrat Jerry Brady ahead of Republican Butch Otter by 5 percent in the gubernatorial race.  Otter defeated Brady at the polls 52-44.

The poll results drew the ire of Minnick spokesman John Foster, who showed no confidence in the work of Smith and his team. “Usually when Greg Smith promotes one of his rigged polls, he at least tries to make it look real; this one is just a joke,” Foster told IdahoReporter.com. “He is notorious for being inaccurate.”

The Labrador campaign has yet to comment on poll results.

Join the discussion


About The Author

Dustin Hurst serves as the Communication Director for the Idaho Freedom Foundation. He graduated from Boise State in 2009. His work has been featured by Fox News, Townhall, Public Sector Inc., the Daily Caller, Reason, Human Events, the Spokesman Review and more. He and his wonderful wife Julia have two cute kids. The family resides in Middleton.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ty Palmer, IdahoReporter.com. IdahoReporter.com said: New poll shows Labrador leading Minnick http://ow.ly/17GizG […]

  2. It’s too bad that John Foster, whom I admire greatly, has chosen to take issue with the results we’ve produced over the years. As he and anyone else with even a scant knowledge of political polling knows, a poll is simply a “snapshot” of attitudes at the time of the research, and is NOT a prediction by any means. Just like consumer attitudes, voter attitudes do in fact change and adapt due to a number of variables.

    Further, if one bothers to look at the entire report that was produced in 2006 discussing the aforementioned results, you’ll see that I fully indicated that (1) I felt Sali would be in trouble as November approached (for which I received a great deal of grief from Sali and other Republicans), and (2) I also felt that Otter would in fact surge in the remaining days/weeks.

    Further, Greg Smith & Associates has just been recognized as doing superior work to other firms doing work in Idaho by FiveThirtyEight (a well respected national organization who study and rate polling firms across the nation).

    I guess it’s most telling that Foster obviously feels that Minnick is in trouble, by the fact that he attacks my firm (unjustifiably, I might add), instead of discussing why in fact Minnick is losing ground. Did he not see primary results from around the nation earlier this week, where there is a clear anti-Washington and/or -incumbent sentiment among the masses (whether justified or not)? It’s both pitiful and laughable that instead of attacking Labrador or defending his own candidate, Minnick, he is reduced to criticizing A POLLSTER.

    I’ve known John for years, and have always thought highly of him, and (I thought) him of me and my firm’s work. But, this is politics, after all, and one can’t be totally surprised in this silly season when such ludicrous and intellectually suicidal thoughts are conveyed.

    Greg Smith
    Greg Smith & Associates

  3. Stan McKie/Boise Examiner

    In the Smith poll in early May, Minnick beat an un-named Republican however at that time in most minds Ward was going to be the nominee. Now with Labrador as the known factor for the Republicans does this poll show that he is a stronger candidate than Ward would have been?

  4. […] is reporting that Labrador leads Walt Minnick by double digits although 30% are still undecided:  Idaho’s […]

  5. […] with an independent poll released in June by Greg Smith, a Republican pollster.  Smith said that Labrador was leading Minnick by 12 points in early June, though the Smith’s findings were challenged by Foster, who said Smith has a […]

  6. Thank you, Greg Smith for giving an accurate projection of Idaho. There are so few media or pollsters who are straight shooters today.

  7. If John Foster isn’t careful, the bouncing back and forth from his political bi-polarism is going to give him whiplash. First he fawns over a Greg Smith poll then accuses him of rigging them. Make up your mind Mr. Foster you can’t have it both ways.

Comments are closed.