Weekend poll: Ybarra 46 percent, Jones 45 percent

Caldwell Debate Jones Ybarra
State superintendent’s candidates Jana Jones, left, and Sherri Ybarra at a Sept. 25 debate in Caldwell.

If a weekend poll is any indication, the state superintendent’s race could be Tuesday night’s biggest nailbiter.

Republican Sherri Ybarra is leading Democrat Jana Jones 46 percent to 45 percent, with 9 percent of respondents still undecided, according to a new poll from Public Policy Polling in Raleigh, N.C. That falls well within the poll’s 3.1 percent margin of error.

The polling firm interviewed 1,001 likely voters between Thursday and Saturday.

And according to Public Policy Polling’s numbers, this is one statewide race that seems to be tightening. In a poll released Oct. 14, Ybarra led 41 percent to 38 percent, with 21 percent of respondents undecided.

In two other key races, Republicans seemed to be pulling away:

Governor. Incumbent Butch Otter leads Democrat A.J. Balukoff, 49 percent to 37 percent. Various independent and third-party candidates pulled in 10 percent of the vote, and only 5 percent of voters are undecided.

In mid-October, Otter led 39 percent to 35 percent, with 14 percent still undecided.

Otter’s improved numbers come as no surprise, according to the pollsters. “This is simply a story of GOP voters unifying around Otter as the election has moved closer,” Public Policy Polling said in a Saturday news release.

At his FiveThirtyEight blog, master statistician Nate Silver places Otter’s odds of winning at 94 percent.

Secretary of state. State Rep. Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, leads state Rep. Holli Woodings, D-Boise, 51 percent to 40 percent, with 9 percent undecided.

In mid-October, Denney’s lead was 38 percent to 35 percent, with a whopping 27 percent undecided.



Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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