Writings and observations

Apost from a few days ago suggested that, post-November 4, Idaho Republicans may informally start choosing between standard-bearers, or at least standard-bearer types: Sarah Palin on one side, and Mitt Romney on the other.

Which was brought back to mind from this item today in a column of the American Spectator:

Former Mitt Romney presidential campaign staffers, some of whom are currently working for Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin’s bid for the White House, have been involved in spreading anti-Palin spin to reporters, seeking to diminish her standing after the election. “Sarah Palin is a lightweight, she won’t be the first, not even the third, person people will think of when it comes to 2012,” says one former Romney aide, now working for McCain-Palin. “The only serious candidate ready to challenge to lead the Republican Party is Mitt Romney. He’s in charge on November 5th.”

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Idaho

The stunning decline in newspaper circulation continues, with the reports out today about the losses at practically all of the larger papers around the country.

At the Northwest’s largest, the Oregonian, the drop is precipitous over the last six months, 8.4% down. But what is this equating to over time? Let’s compare with the figures from earlier this decade.

Daily circulation fall 2008: 283,321

Daily circulation fall 2005: 333,515

Daily circulation spring 2002: 348,000 (approx)

Online is rising (and the O’s website is improving). How this will pencil out remains the issue.

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Oregon

Take note of the current regional gas prices a little farther down this page – Oregon lowest, Idaho a little higher, but all much lower than they were three or four months ago.

Suggestion: Gas up on election day.

Unless you think it’s just another weird coincidence that, once again, market forces are driving gas prices right before the general election . . .

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Idaho Oregon Washington

Usual rule is that high school students vote a lot like their parents, so the results of the Idaho Student Mock Election, which collects preferences from thousands of high school students around the state, might generally be expected to conform reasonably closely to the actuals next week.

If so, there could be some real interest here. Among the Idaho high schoolers, Democrat Barack Obama managed a slight win for president. And while the three congressional choices all went to the Republicans, the result in the 1st congressional district (where polling has been all over the map) was close.

Here’s what it showed:

Total Number of Schools 54 . . . Number of Ballots Cast 4,704

United States President
CON Chuck Baldwin 46 (1.0%)
LIB Bob Barr 73 (1.6%)
REP John McCain 2,135 (45.6%)
IND Ralph Nader 189 (4.0%)
DEM Barack Obama 2,240 (47.8%)

United States Senator
DEM Larry LaRocco 1,593 (34.7%)
LIB Kent A. Marmon 184 (4.0%)
IND Pro-Life 324 (7.1%)
IND Rex Rammell 300 (6.5%)
REP Jim Risch 2,186 (47.7%)

United States Representative – 1st District
DEM Walt Minnick 1,337 (47.2%)
REP Bill Sali 1,497 (52.8%)

United States Representative – 2nd District
DEM Deborah Holmes 585 (34.1%)
REP Mike Simpson 1,131 (65.9%)

Proposition 1 – Lower Drinking Age
Yes 2,441 (53.0%) . . . No 2,165 (47.0%)

Proposition 2 – Exempt groceries from Sales Tax
Yes 3,380 (73.5%) . . . No 1,221 26.5%

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Idaho