LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

BOISE -- Statewide, one of the closest and most hotly-contested districts could be south Boise's District 18.

District 18 is a battleground, said Dr. Jim Weatherby, KTVB political analyst. It has, perhaps, some of marquee races for legislative seats in the state.

Weatherby says District 18 will feature some of the closest races of the election, again. Two years ago, those races were decided by a handful of votes.

In 2010, Republicans took two of the three seats from Democrats with Julie Ellsworth defeating Janie Ward-Engelking by just 9 votes, and Mitch Toryanski beating Branden Durst by just 103 votes.

Both those incredibly close races will be rematches this year, and Weatherby says, they'll be close again this year. Brad Bolicek will try to unseat Phylis King in the other house race. You might think King, a 3-term incumbent in a historically left-leaning district, would be safe. Weatherby says, no.

In any kind of competitive situation, I can't say a democratic seat is safe, particularly if we're looking at the huge turnout that the Secretary of State is projecting, that it might be 75 or 80%, said Dr. Weatherby. A lot of those votes are people turning out for Mitt Romney, and those coat-tail effects could help a Republican, and some upsets might occur.

But Weatherby says Democrats might be able to ride some coat-tails to victories, as well. That's thanks to what he sees as increasing voter opposition to Props 1, 2, and 3 (the Students Come First education reform laws). There's that X factor here of the propositions.

As far as money raised and spent, in the District 18 House races, both democrats are way ahead. While in the Senate, the Republican Toryanski is way ahead of the democrat, Durst.

Also, turnout should be huge in this district, Weatherby says there's already a high number of absentee ballot requests.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/2014/06/30/11832167/