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Interested Parties

From: Celinda Lake and Joshua Ulibarri, Lake Research Partners


Polling Data Regarding Mike Crapos Vulnerability in 2016i

Date: July 14, 2016

A recent survey among likely

2016 general election voters
in Idaho shows that there is a
competitive race against
incumbent Republican
Senator Mike Crapo. If
Crapos Democratic
opponent, Jerry Sturgill, has
the resources to
communicate his message to
the people of Idaho and
contrast himself to Crapo,
this could be a close race and
a pick-up for Democrats in a
normally red state.

Final Ballot









Here are the key findings:

Although a long-term incumbent, Mike Crapo has under majority support.
Although Crapo has been in office for almost twenty years and is going up
against an unknown candidate, he receives only 49% of the vote. While Crapo
leads, only 37% of voters strongly support him in a solidly Republican state (+19
GOP identification). Additionally, a quarter of voters are still undecided.

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Celinda Lake
Alysia Snell
David Mermin
Dr. Robert G. Meadow
Daniel Gotoff
Joshua Ulibarri

Crapo has low job performance ratings this is the biggest indication that
Sturgill may have an opportunity to win. Crapo is upside-down in job
performance, with 48% of voters saying that he is doing a just fair or poor job
(41% say he is doing an excellent or good job). Undecided voters and
independents are especially unhappy with the job Crapo is doing as Senator:
55% of undecided voters say that Crapo is doing a just fair or poor job (20% say
he is doing an excellent or good job); 59% of swing voters say that Crapo is doing
a just fair or poor job (35% say he is doing an excellent or good job).
Undecided voters are good for Sturgill. While the electorate as a whole is more
Republican, undecided voters are equally Democratic (31% identify as
Democrats; 31% as Republicans). On the national front, Hillary Clinton leads
Donald Trump among undecided voters in Idaho (27/23). Also, as mentioned, a
majority of undecided voters do not think Crapo is doing a good job, so his lead
in this race can close quickly.

U.S. Senator for Idaho July 2016

Crapos chances for reelection suffer because of Donald Trump. A majority of

voters (54%) view Trump unfavorably, including 44% who view him very
unfavorably. It was Ted Cruz who won Idaho in the Republican primary while
Trump took only 28%. In the surveys presidential ballot, Trump carries the state
with only 39% of voters. Those numbers cannot be seen as impressive for Trump
when considering Mitt Romney, who won 65% of the popular vote in 2012.
Additionally, Trump tends to poll low among Mormons, which will be another
disadvantage for Trump and Crapo in Idaho.
Jerry Sturgill is helped by the fact that he is not a typical Democrat. Sturgill was
a Bishop in his Mormon church, and when he was in college, he took time off to
go on an LDS mission to help others. He is also a successful businessman. Sturgill
does not fit the mold of a typical Democrat, and that can appeal to Idaho swing
voters in a way few Democrats have been able to in the recent past.
Crapo is vulnerable to attacks, and in the final ballot, this becomes a tie race.
Among key targets, such as undecided voters and voters with no party
affiliation, Sturgill has a wide lead over Crapo: 35% of undecided voters vote for
Sturgill (7% vote for Crapo); 43% of swing voters for Sturgill (29% vote for
In summary, Mike Crapo is a vulnerable incumbent due to both his job performance and
national politics. This year, there is a real opportunity for Democrat Jerry Sturgill to
defeat Mike Crapo if Sturgill has enough support and resources behind him. There is a
path for a Sturgill to be a strong competitor, but this will require aggressive
communications efforts.

i Methodology: Lake Research Partners designed and administered the survey and it was conducted by

telephone using professional interviewers on July 5 10, 2016. The survey reached a total of 500 likely 2016
voters in Idaho. Telephone numbers for the sample were generated from a list of registered voters in Idaho. The
data were weighted slightly by gender, age, region, party registration, party identification, religion, partisanship
score, and education. Both cell phones and landlines were called. The margin of error for the total sample is +/4.4% and larger for sub-groups.