The headlines from the SurveyUSA poll show that an astounding 55% of Idahoans already think Craig should resign. And, Craig’s disapproval is at 58% — with a drop of 26 percentage points in his approval:
55% in Idaho Say U.S. Senator Larry Craig Should Resign: Less than 36 hours after the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call first broke the story of Larry Craig’s arrest in an airport bathroom, 89% in Idaho are aware. SurveyUSA interviewed 600 Idaho adults the evening of 8/28/07 to measure initial reaction, including 475 registered voters who have heard the news accounts. Of Idaho voters, 55% today say Craig should resign. 34% say Craig should remain in office. 11% are not sure. Among Idaho Republicans, 45% say Craig should resign, 42% say Craig should remain in office. Democrats and Independents overwhelmingly say Craig should resign. There are many sides to a complex story, and as new facts come to light, opinions can be expected to change.
Job Approval for Craig down 26 Points to 34%: Among all Idaho adults, 34% today approve of Craig’s Job Performance, 58% disapprove. When SurveyUSA last recorded Job Approval numbers for Craig and fellow U.S. Senator from Idaho Mike Crapo, in November 2006, Craig had a 60% Job Approval, 26 percentage points higher than his approval today. Crapo had a 61% Job Approval in November 2006, identical to his Job Approval today. Over 19 consecutive months of tracking Craig, his SurveyUSA Job Approval among Idaho Republicans ranged from 71% to 82%. Today, among Idaho Republicans Craig’s approval is 46%. Among Idaho Conservatives, Craig’s Job Approval for 19 months ranged between 70% and 80%. Today, among Conservatives, Craig’s approval is at 51%.
I’m beginning to wonder if Larry Craig will even return to DC next week when the Senate reconvenes. With these poll numbers and that debacle of a press conference yesterday, the odds are increasing that he’ll just resign. There’s going to be enormous pressure from Republicans to get him out of office. Maybe that will be Rove’s last task before he leaves the Bush administration at the end of the month. And as if on cue, CNN just reported that a Bush spokesperson said that the Bush administration is “disappointed” with Craig. And, they think Craig and the Senate leaders need to address it. Uh-huh.
McJoan at DailyKos, who is our favorite Idahoan and to whom we turn for Idaho political insight, had this to say about the implications of Craig leaving:
Before you scoff at the idea of an Idaho race being competitive, remember Larry Grant in ID-01 in 2006. The Republicans and the Club for Growth were forced to spend hundreds of thousands to get that seat. Freakin’ Dick Cheney actually had to come to the state to campaign for Sali. Yes, Sali being the nominee helped the Dems, but it didn’t take long for the Republican establishment fully embrace his campaign to protect that seat. A Senate seat is a taller order, but it still can be credibly challenged, even in Idaho.
The Republicans are going to have to compete to keep a Senate seat in Idaho. They’re going to have to work really hard for it.