Let’s just say Larry Craig resigns over this whole bathroom affair and Idaho has an election in 2008 to find a real replacement. Do Dems even have a shot in the traditionally hardcore conservative landscape of Idaho politics?
The Rothenberg Political Report says it’s highly unlikely. Why? because Craig was thinking of retiring anyway…leaving Repub Lt. Gov. Jim Risch and former Dem Congressman Larry LaRocco to duke it out….
Even though itâ€™s an open seat, Democrats still face a very difficult bid in Idaho. George W. Bush won the state with 67% in 2000 and 68% in 2004, behind only Wyoming and Utah. Idaho hasnâ€™t gone Democratic for President since Lyndon Johnson in 1964 when Barry Goldwater (R) won only a handful of states. The last Democrat to win a U.S. Senate race was legendary Sen. Frank Church (D) in 1974. But he lost reelection six years later.
In a potential preview of next November, Risch and LaRocco squared off statewide less than a year ago in the 2006 race for lieutenant governor, with Risch winning convincingly 58%-30%.
However, what Larry Craig’s conviction will most likely do is further damage the Republican’s credibility on social issues and make them look like hypocrites.
So while the Dems may not pick up a seat in Idaho, this may help other national races and push Independents further into the blue.
Meanwhile…Mitt Romney distances himself from Craig.