According to a poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates for Idaho Politics Weekly, businessman and presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is now the most popular White House contender in Idaho
Pitted against Hillary Clinton, his most likely challenger in the national contest, 49 percent of Idahoans polled said they'd cast their votes for Trump, while 32 percent said they'd vote for Clinton.
The poll was conducted with 603 adult respondents between May 18 and June 4. Its margin for error is 3.99 percent.
In the election, Trump would carry the Gem State primarily with the votes of Idaho men. While 51 percent of men polled said they'd vote for the New York real estate mogul, 32 percent of women said they'd do the same. What's more, 29 percent of women said they would vote for the Democratic nominee regardless of who that turns out to be.
In July 2015, political commentator Randy Stapilus wrote about Trump's appeal
in Idaho, saying while the brash New York billionaire has little in common with the more reserved image cut by Gem State conservatives, his status as an outsider and disruptor of the status quo could win over voters. Notably, insurgent candidates challenging the norm tend to be popular in Idaho, he wrote.
Referring to late-Idaho Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth and Idaho-born former vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Stapilus wrote, "Their backers might call it being unafraid to speak the truth, their critics might call it speaking foolishness, but in Idaho you'll find enough voters in the first camp to form a significant base."
Trump polls about as weakly with political independents in Idaho as he does with women in the Gem State. According to Idaho Politics Weekly, 34 percent of self-described independents said they'd cast a vote for Trump, noting that's "not a good sign ... for the strength of [Trump's] candidacy in Idaho," since approximately two-thirds of independents would be looking to cast their votes for someone else.
A Trump versus Sanders race would be more even in Idaho, according to the poll, with 43 percent of respondents saying they'd vote for Sanders and 46 percent saying they'd vote for Trump.
Idaho Politics Weekly published
the results of a similar poll in November 2015, in which only then-Republican presidential candidate and neurosurgeon Ben Carson received an approval rating of more than 50 percent. At the time, Trump's favorability rating was 41 percent among Idaho adults. In the same poll, Clinton's total favorability was 29 percent and Sanders' was 38 percent.
Four months later, however, Sanders swamped
Clinton in Idaho's March Democratic primary: 18,640 to 5,065. Also in March, then-Republican presidential contender Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won Idaho's GOP primary
with 45 percent of the vote. Trump was in second place with 28 percent of Idaho Republicans' votes.