Dems Gain Ground 

Turns out most Idahoans think the state is heading in the right direction, while Democrats are making inroads in what is largely considered the most Republican state in the country.

At least according to the annual public policy survey done by Boise State's Social Science Research Center. The results of the 19th annual survey were released last week, and researchers say they provide a snapshot of the state.

The survey is based on answers given by 518 randomly selected residents across the state.

The majority of those surveyed said they consider themselves "somewhat conservative" (37 percent) while another 30 percent said they are "middle of the road" when it comes to political beliefs.

At the same time, more Idahoans consider themselves Democrats, with a full 25 percent claiming affiliation to the party, up from 18 percent last year.

Education remained the top concern for Idahoans, followed closely by the economy, jobs and wages.

The environment and wilderness also took prominence in the study. Of those responding, 52 percent said they would like to see more designated wilderness in the state, and nearly 75 percent said anyone living on the edge of wilderness areas should be required to have fire insurance.

A plurality of those who responded (45 percent) also said they would support the development of a nuclear power plant, if the energy was used in Idaho. But a full 70 percent said they would oppose nuclear power if that energy was sold to other states.

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