How bad is it for the GOP? Idaho-1 is in play.

Our western neighbor, Idaho, is among the reddest of red states. President Bush got 69% of the vote, and there hasn't been a competitive statewide or congressional race in years.

But check this out:

National political analysts say a congressional race in a bedrock conservative district in Idaho has turned competitive and could become a national bellwether, signaling widespread GOP jitters three months from November's midterm elections.

The race, in a ruby red state where President Bush's poll numbers are among the highest in the nation, pits conservative state Rep. Bill Sali, R-Kuna, against Larry Grant, a former executive at Micron Technology Inc., the state's largest employer.

Pretty astonishing stuff. According to the Oregonian, it's so bad that Tom Delay's PAC is funneling money to Bill Sali - and Vice President Dick Cheney will be making a fundraising trip next week:

Vice President Dick Cheney will swing through Boise on Aug. 16 to stump for Sali. The announcement came a few days after the national GOP targeted the sprawling 1st Congressional District seat as one of 10 races to qualify for a major cash infusion.

The GOP's Retain Our Majority Program, founded by ousted Majority Leader Tom DeLay and run by the House Republican leadership, funneled $982,000 to 10 candidates, including Sali, in July, according to The Hill, a Washington, D.C., newsletter.

Read the rest. Dig in to the Idaho LeftyBlogs. And visit Larry Grant for Congress. If a fall roadtrip is in your plans, be sure to volunteer.


  • Julie in Boise (unverified)

    Thanks very much for the nod to our race, Blue Oregon!

    Larry Grant is one of the strongest Democratic candidates we've had here in Idaho forever. He was VP of Micron Technology (now the state's largest private employer) during its formative years (1985-1995), then worked a few years in Silicon Valley before retiring in Idaho.

    There are two key things to know about Bill Sali. One, he is a fundamentalist Christian of the most extreme kind. Second, until ROMP rode in to the rescue, his biggest funds (about a half million for the primary alone) were sent by the hard-core antigovernment group Club for Growth, which exists mainly to starve public services of all sorts.

    If that sounds like an especially bad combination to you, you're right. Know, too, that -this being Idaho - Larry Grant is going to need some $$$ to pull off a win here, even with such an extreme opponent.

    We're especially eager to hear from Idaho ex-pats now living in Oregon or other blue states. So Send Money Home (click my name) if you can, and spread the word to your Idaho friends and family back home about Larry Grant's campaign. You can also follow what's going on at our blog, Grassroots for Grant.


  • Julie in Boise (unverified)

    Trying that Send Money Home to Larry Grant link again.

  • (Show?)

    Idaho is the state of me birth, and I have to say I've been rather appalled at how far right it has gotten since I left (no connection implied or claimed). I was raised in a labor Dem household, and we weren't fringe characters. My father still lives in idaho, and lately even conservative Dems have been an endangered species.

    So this is good news indeed.

  • Bill (unverified)

    Speaking of elections, today, you have a chance to make it possible for every citizen to have their vote counted throughout the United States of America !

    How can you do that? By supporting Clint Curtis in his bid for Congress against Tom Feeney.

    How does that affect you?

    Clint Curtis is a computer geek who knows how easy it is to manipulate your vote because he was asked by Congressman Tom Feeney to create such a prototype in October 2000. And the rest is history.

    It is all about YOUR VOTE actually getting counted.

    This is your chance to make a difference in America. Stand up with Clint for Democracy.

    Stand up and be counted. Go to to be a part of this historic race.

  • Grant Schott (unverified)
    <h2>TOugh district and tough state, but a Demcorat, Larry LaRocco (sp?) held that seat from 90-94 and we almost knocked off Helen Chenowith in '96 because she was such a looney toon even a lot of Rs didn't like her. SHe was the one who said she didn't belive that salmon were in danger because she could still find canned salmon in the grocery store, which led to bumper stickers that read "Can Helen, Not Salmon."</h2>
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