How President Trump Will Influence Idaho Politics
Idahoans watched President Trump return to the national spotlight over the weekend. The former president said that there would be no move to a third or Trump Party. However, he did say that he will be active in state and national politics for many years. How will his appeal influence the Gem State?
Our last two election cycles in 2016 and 2018 featured several candidates trying to out-Trump each other. The 2018 Gubanatorial Republican Primary featured a three-way contest between Lt. Governor Brad Little, Tommy Ahlquist, and Congressman Raul Labrador. Ahlquist and Labrador sparred for months on who was the real Trump supporter in the gubernatorial race.
Expect this year's race for the governor to start after the end of this legislative session. Opponents of Governor Little will work to make his bid for reelection about two issues. One on his handling of the Covid crisis. The second will be the theory that a united Conservative movement behind one candidate will defeat the governor. The 2018 race was split into thirds. Governor Little won the primary with 37.3% of the vote (72,391), followed by Labrador, 32.6% (63,397), and Ahlquist, 26.2% (50,975).
A factor that could favor Governor Little in his bid for reelection was his relationship with the Trump Administration. The governor spoke at the White House at the administration's invitation for his handling of the Covid crisis in Idaho.
Lars Larson told us this morning that he expects former President Trump to actively endorse his favored candidates in states across the country. He pointed out that his congresswoman from Oregon will not survive the upcoming Oregon Republican Party Primary. Could we see a series of tweets for Trump candidates in Idaho?
We've invited the president to the Gem State for years. We hope to see him here one day, inspiring the voters. I do believe we will see another race between candidates on who can out-Trump each other. I'm reasonably confident we won't have anyone saying there Idaho's version of Mitch McConnell.