Raleigh, N.C. – PPP's new Idaho poll finds a close race for Governor- although there are also strong signals within the poll that the contest might not end up being that close in the end. Incumbent Butch Otter leads with only 39% to 35% for Democrat A.J. Balukoff. Minor candidates combine for an unusually high 12%, and 14% of voters are undecided.
The support right now for the minor candidates is a reflection of Otter's unpopularity. Only 36% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 49% who disapprove, and even Republicans are pretty tepid in their feelings about him with 54% approving to 27% who disapprove. But those voters supporting the minor candidates say they would pick Otter over Balukoff 65/26 if they had to choose between the two, and that's enough to push Otter's lead up to 47/38 in a head to head contest. Given the tendency for third party candidates to fade down the stretch, that's an important data point. Beyond that the undecideds voted for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama 71/16 in 2012, suggesting that if they eventually choose based on party loyalty Otter could ultimately win by double digits despite his current low numbers.