Thursday, September 18, 2008

Idaho back in the news....

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Back in June, I wrote about the Idaho 1st. My position was that, despite the fact that everyone else said that this was a Republican stronghold, I felt that Walt Minnick had a chance. A decent chance.

Nice to see other people coming around.

First, we have the Swing State Project moving the race from "Leans Republican to Leans Democratic." They also point out that Sali opened his office in the wrong district.

And from today's Minnick press release:
For the second time this year, the Cook Political Report changed its rating in the Idaho First Congressional District race between Walt Minnick and incumbent Bill Sali, and again upgraded Minnick's chances for victory. Cook last upgraded the race in July.

The Cook Political Report is a non-partisan reporting and analysis publication that offers independent ratings on Congressional races around the country. Click here to see a chart of races around the country. Here's what the Cook Report had to say about Idaho:

"Despite this district's very serious GOP bent, Republicans admit that Sali himself is the biggest issue in his reelection race. Sali was recently criticized for pressuring non-major party candidates to exit the Senate race, and has taken to holding yard sales to bankroll his shoestring campaign. Meanwhile, Democrats say businessman and 1996 Senate nominee Walt Minnick has a down-home image that will sell and a much more serious campaign than Larry Grant's 2006 effort.

"But Minnick's image doesn't matter as much as Sali's, and private polls continue to show his favorability upside-down ... Once again, Republicans are extremely nervous about a district that they shouldn't have to lose sleep over."

The news comes as Republicans in Idaho are rallying behind Minnick in an effort to unseat Sali, an unpopular incumbent freshman. Stories by the Associated Press, Idaho Statesman and Spokane Spokesman-Review have reported on a grassroots effort by 60 Republicans to help Minnick win in November. The Spokesman-Review quoted Jim Weatherby, Idaho's preeminent campaign observer and political scientist, as saying Minnick is running "a centrist campaign."

Update - my error for reading too quickly. SSP did NOT upgrade the race.