Keith Allred has had a pretty good couple of months leading up to his 80-plus percent win in the Democratic primary.
He's gained on Gov. Butch Otter in some polls. He's raised more campaign money than Otter.
Even the bad stuff has worked out for him.
An attack ad funded by a coalition of the state's largest industries underscored Allred's message that he's taking on special interests — and showed they consider him a threat.
"We've closed 10 percent in seven weeks (in polls)," said the Harvard professor and former executive director of the nonpartisan group The Common Interest. "At that pace it's a dead heat by early September."
Of course, the challenge is keeping the pace.
No one, including Allred, thinks his campaign against one of Idaho's most popular politicians since the early 1970s is anything but uphill.
Otter still holds more than a 20-point lead in those polls. Allred, a fifth-generation Idahoan raised in Twin Falls who spent most of his career elsewhere, is still a relative unknown.
And then there's the obvious: He's running as a Democrat in one of the most Republican states in the nation.
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