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Previewing the 2022 Idaho General Election

This Viewpoint breaks down the major statewide races in Idaho and the changing face of the state legislature.

BOISE, Idaho — On Tuesday, Nov. 8, voters across Idaho will head to the polls in the mid-term general election to decide who they want to represent them in key federal, state and local offices. Polling locations will be open from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Many Idahoans have already voted in person at early voting locations or by filling out absentee ballots. Early voting closed on Friday. Anyone who still has their absentee ballot needs to turn that in to your county clerk's office by 8 o'clock on election night. It is too late to mail them.

For information on the election, including what's going to be on your ballot, interviews with candidates, how to find your polling location and more, check out our KTVB Voter Guide

Idaho is a very red state. Republicans dominate the voter rolls but there is a large number of unaffiliated voters, followed by registered Democrats. According to the Idaho Secretary of State's Office, as of Oct. 4, there were just under one million registered voters in Idaho.

This is how that total breaks down:

  • 577,088 Republican
  • 129,827 Democrat 
  • 277,220 Unaffiliated 
  • 11,223 Libertarian 
  • 4,026 Constitution Party

The Secretary of State's Office says since these numbers were posted on Oct. 4, the number of registered voters in Idaho has grown to more than one million.

This edition of Viewpoint previews the 2022 general election. Journalists Melissa Davlin, the host of Idaho Reports on Idaho Public Television, and KTVB Chief Political Reporter Joe Parris join Doug Petcash to break down the major statewide races, including the race for U.S. Senate, lieutenant governor, attorney general and superintendent of public instruction.

Davlin and Parris also weighed in on how the race for governor among Governor Brad Little, Democrat Stephen Heidt and Independent Ammon Bundy is shaping up. An excerpt is below.

Joe Parris: "We've seen the campaign for Mr. Heidt really not run as strongly as we saw Paulette Jordan four years ago. We saw Paulette out in the communities across Idaho really strongly campaigning. We saw online ads. We saw television ads. (With) The Heidt campaign we're just not really seeing that. So in terms of the attention on the race, it seems like it's not the most important race in terms of people talking about it, visibility. Which is strange for every four years the big one is the governor's race. It seems like the race, to me, is taking a backseat and hasn't dominated conversation, which is really interesting thinking back to four years ago when we thought this is going to set up the direction of the state."

Melissa Davlin: "I think the real conversation that I'm hearing is speculation on how much of the vote Ammon Bundy is going to take from that traditional Republican voter core. I know that a lot of people who supported Janice McGeachin and also Ed Humphreys in the primary are going to support Ammon Bundy. We've seen a strong fundraising game, especially for an independent candidate, more than $600,000 the last time I checked. Of course, those reports will get updated. The money is still coming in. Brad Little is at more than $2 million. He has the financial advantage. He has the name recognition. He has the support of so many lawmakers and the PACs, but Ammon Bundy, the percentage of the vote he's going to get, I think, will surprise people. I think he has more support than people realize."

This Viewpoint also focuses on the changing face, or faces, of the state legislature. Redistricting based on the 2020 Census moved legislative district boundaries to square up with the growing and changing population. That, along with some retirements, is leading to a rather sizeable turnover in both chambers.
Viewpoint airs Sunday mornings at 9 on KTVB.

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