BOISE, Idaho — Fewer than half of Idahoans believe the state is headed in the right direction, according to results from Boise State’s 20th public policy survey.
The post-election survey of 525 Idahoans showed that 49 percent feel the state is headed in the right direction, a sharp decline from 2007 when 66 percent felt the state was headed in the right direction. It is the lowest “right direction” number since the survey began asking the question in 1997.
Also, for the first time in the history of the poll, more Idahoans identified themselves as independents than Republicans. Thirty-seven percent of respondents called themselves independents compared to 33 percent as Republicans. Democrats were 21 percent.
Fewer than five respondents identified themselves as tea party members.
Jobs and the economy were identified by 51 percent as the most important issue facing Idaho today. Education (24 percent) and politics/government (10 percent) were the only other answers with more than 4 percent.
The 51 percent is a major increase from 22 percent in 2007, the last time the poll was conducted.
“The responses on the economy and the shifts in political identification seem to indicate that people are relatively dissatisfied,” said Carole Nemnich, the associate director of the Boise State Public Policy Center.
The poll showed people were unhappy over cuts in education funding, with 53 percent saying they would favor a sales tax increase to support K-12 education.
Read the full survey results here.