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INTERESTED PARTIES HARSTAD STRATEGIC RESEARCH SEPTEMBER 29, 2008 CONGRESSMAN BILL SALI CONTINUES TO TRAIL WALT MINNICK IN ID’S 1ST CD

We have conducted two telephone surveys in September in Idaho’s 1st Congressional District, and both show Democrat Walt Minnick leading Republican incumbent Congressman Bill Sali. The horserace was 43% Minnick to 38% Sali earlier this month (Sept. 9-11), and the vote now stands at 44% Minnick to 38% Sali (Sept. 25-28) with both candidates now airing TV ads. Sali is without question one of the most vulnerable incumbents in Congress. After a career of controversial statements and stands in the Idaho State House, Sali nearly lost the general election in 2006. During his first term in the U.S. Congress, he has only cemented his questionable reputation among Idaho voters by, for example, failing to file accurate FEC reports and locating his Congressional office outside of his District. o Sali’s feelings score or popularity is abysmal at 38% favorable to 41% unfavorable (including just 9% very favorable versus 27% very unfavorable). o Sali’s job rating is striking at 29% excellent or good versus 50% only fair or poor. This is entirely consistent with previous surveys we have conducted. Idaho voters are also unhappy with Washington. And voters find Walt Minnick’s principled business background an especially appealing contrast to the mismanagement in Washington. o By better than 6-to-1, voters think the nation is pretty seriously off on the wrong track (83%) rather than headed in the right direction (12%). And voters may be increasingly frustrated -- just two weeks ago their verdict was 29% right direction and 63% wrong track. Despite a consistent Republican party affiliation advantage (40% to 27% for Democrats in our most recent survey), every survey we have conducted reveals Sali’s unique vulnerability. Harstad Strategic Research is a national survey research firm based in Boulder, Colorado. Its clients include five U.S. Senators: Ken Salazar of Colorado, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Barack Obama of Illinois, and Jack Reed of Rhode Island.

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