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United States Senate election in Idaho, 2008


United States Senate election in Idaho, 2008

United States Senate election in Idaho, 2008

November 4, 2008

Nominee Jim Risch Larry LaRocco Rex Rammell
Party Republican Democratic Independent
Popular vote 371,744 219,903 34,510
Percentage 57.7% 34.1% 5.4%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Larry Craig

Elected U.S. Senator

Jim Risch

The 2008 United States Senate election in Idaho was held on November 4, 2008. The primary elections were held on May 27.[1] Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Larry Craig decided to retire instead of seeking a fourth term. Republican Jim Risch won the open seat.


  • Background 1
  • Democratic primary 2
    • Candidates 2.1
    • Results 2.2
  • Republican primary 3
    • Candidates 3.1
    • Results 3.2
  • General election 4
    • Candidates 4.1
      • Major 4.1.1
      • Minor 4.1.2
    • Polling 4.2
    • Results 4.3
  • References 5
  • External links 6
  • See also 7


Incumbent Larry Craig announced his intent to resign following an incident where he solicited another man for gay sex in a public bathroom.[2] Craig later decided not to resign; however, he announced that he would not seek re-election. The filing deadline for the election was March 21, 2008. A total of 13 candidates filed for the seat.[3] Republican and Democratic candidates ran for their respective nominations in the May 27 primary.

Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch defeated a crowded field for the Republican nomination, while former Congressman Larry LaRocco won the Democratic nomination in similar fashion. Conservative independents Rex Rammell and Pro-Life (formerly Marvin Richardson) also qualified for the general election ballot. Former Caldwell city council member Kent Marmon secured the Libertarian nomination. In the general election, Risch defeated LaRocco and the other candidates to keep the seat in Republican hands.

Democratic primary



Democratic Primary results[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Larry LaRocco 29,023 72.35%
Democratic David J. Archuleta 11,074 27.60%
Democratic Write-ins 20 0.05%
Totals 40,117 100.00%

Republican primary


  • Jim Risch, Lieutenant Governor
  • Fred Adams
  • Brian Hefner
  • Bill Hunter
  • Richard Phenneger, Businessman
  • Hal James Styles
  • Scott Syme, Iraq War veteran[6]
  • Neal Thompson


Republican primary results[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jim Risch 80,743 65.34%
Republican Scott Syme 16,660 13.48%
Republican Richard Phenneger 6,532 5.29%
Republican Neal Thompson 5,375 4.35%
Republican Fred M. Adams 4,987 4.04%
Republican Bill Hunter 4,280 3.46%
Republican Brian E. Hefner 2,915 2.36%
Republican Hal James Styles, Jr. 2,082 1.68%
Totals 123,574 100.00%

General election




  • Kent A. Marmon (L), former member of the Caldwell City Council.
  • Pro-life (I)
  • Rex Rammel (I)


Poll Source Dates administered LaRocco Risch Rammel
Rasmussen Reports September 9, 2008 30% 58% -
Greg Smith August 18–22, 2008 30% 41% 3%
Research 2000 July 28–30, 2008 32% 42% 5%
Celinda Lake May 20–25, 2008 28% 43% 6%
Robinson Research November 26-December 12, 2007 27% 46% -
Myers Research November 13-November 19, 2007 34% 48% -
Survey USA September 6-September 8, 2007 36% 52% -


General election results[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jim Risch 371,744 57.65% -7.51%
Democratic Larry LaRocco 219,903 34.11% +1.56%
Independent Rex Rammell 34,510 5.35%
Libertarian Kent Marmon 9,958 1.54% -0.75%
Independent Pro-Life 8,662 1.34%
Write-ins 3 0.00%
Majority 151,841 23.55% -9.06%
Turnout 644,780
Republican hold Swing


  1. ^ Elections, Campaign Disclosure and Lobbyists Idaho Secretary of State
  2. ^ "Craig to Announce Resignation Saturday". 
  4. ^ "LaRocco to run for Senate; Craig mum on future]". Retrieved 2007-05-08. 
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ "Iraq vet announces bid in GOP Senate primary". 
  7. ^

External links

  • U.S. Congress candidates for Idaho at Project Vote Smart
  • Robinson Research
  • Idaho, U.S. Senate from CQ Politics
  • Idaho U.S. Senate from
  • Idaho U.S. Senate race from 2008 Race Tracker
  • Campaign contributions for Idaho congressional races from
  • Official campaign websites
    • Jim Risch, Republican nominee
    • Larry LaRocco, Democratic nominee
    • Kent Marmon, Libertarian nominee
    • Rex Rammell, Independent candidate

See also

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