The Campaign Spot

Going, Going, Vaughn?

Today is primary day in Idaho, and while it doesn’t hold quite the drama of a week ago, there’s an intriguing GOP House primary, where Vaughn Ward, who looked like a GOP rising star, has hit one bump in the road after another.

At the beginning of the month, I wrote:

Walt Minnick, Idaho: One of the few House Democrats who voted against the stimulus, cap-and-trade, and the health-care bill, he was endorsed by the Tea Party Express. But GOP challenger Vaughn Ward can give this district all of the same stands without a vote to keep Nancy Pelosi as speaker.

Since then, Idaho Republicans have learned that Ward didn’t vote in 2008′s general election, that he appeared to insinuate that Sen. Mike Crapo endorsed him, that statements appearing on Ward’s website appear to have been cut and pasted from other GOP lawmakers’ websites and writings, that his campaign manager has stepped down, that he suggested Puerto Rico is a foreign country, and that he disturbingly echoed Obama’s famous 2004 convention speech:

Other than all of that, Ward’s had a great month.

Unsurprisingly, the primary now looks much closer:

In a Mason-Dixon Poll done for The Idaho Statesman  on May 17-19,  no clear winner has emerged in the Republican 1st Congressional District Primary.  More than 1/3 of the 625 people polled (37%) said they have no preference among the three Republicans trying to get the nomination.  Vaughn Ward received 31% of yes votes, Raul Labrador 28% with Harley Brown at a distant third with 4%.  Ward’s and Labrador’s numbers put them in a statistical dead heat.

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