New Poll Shows Tighter Minnick-Labrador Race


Forty-four days and counting.

A new survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research and funded by seven daily newspapers shows some minor surprises. The polling firm questioned 625 registered Idaho voters Sept. 13-15 and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter held a 16-point lead over Democratic challenger Keith Allred but 20 percent remained undecided. The poll also reveals some dissatisfaction with Otter within his own party, with just 68 percent of Republicans saying they plan to vote for him.

The same poll showed Democratic Congressman Walt Minnick with a 10-point lead over GOP challenger Raul Labrador in the First Congressional District. In northern Idaho, the numbers indicate a statistical dead heat with Minnick's 43 percent compared to Labrador's 40 percent.

The Mason-Dixon poll reported Republican Sen. Mike Crapo with comfortable 44 percent lead over Democratic challenger Tom Sullivan.

The survey indicated that Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna was leading Democrat Stan Olson by 17 percent.

In Idaho's Second Congressional District, the poll showed incumbent Rep. Mike Simpson leading Democratic challenger Mike Crawford by 28 points.