Often, the political dilemma in the United States of America seems double-sided. The bipartisan system domineered by Democrats and Republicans has the potential to oversimplify the context of the political climate, making it seem like individuals and states are majorly one or the other.
However, as with any human issue, the truth is not painted in black and white. This can be clearly seen when looking at progressive cities in conservative states. Boise, the capital of Idaho, is one example of such a city.
Looking at a map of Idaho broken up into red and blue counties, you will find a mostly red map with only a few pockets of blue areas. However, younger generations may indicate a change in the political landscape in Idaho’s future.
Idaho is a dominantly Republican state. There are 1.7 million people in the gem state, and most of them live in rural and farming areas. Research indicates that geography and population plays a significant role in marking people as more progressive or conservative: the more populated an area is, the more likely it is to be progressive.
Since Idaho is such a rural state with relatively few people, it makes sense that it leans so heavily to the right of the American political spectrum. However, Idahoan values aren’t as cut and dry as they might seem. For example, while Idaho State gun laws are considerably relaxed and the state isn’t keen on jumping on the bandwagon to legalize marijuana any time soon, other political indications skew relatively progressively for such a red state.
However, Idaho does have some liberal tendencies. Some are thanks to its bigger cities, like Boise, that takes in a relatively high number of refugees and shows support for the LGTB community. More significant indications, however, come from the recent election.
Could Idaho Become a Blue State?
In the midterm elections of 2018, Democratic candidate Paulette Jordan lost the election to Republican candidate Brad Little. On almost every demographic map indicating election results, most of it was colored red, with some maps popping up with a little blue. On the other hand, Proposition 1, which would have allowed horse racing and slot-machine resembling gambling to come back into the state failed, and Prop 2, which stood for expanding Medicaid in Idaho, passed.
With the failing of Prop 1 and passing of Prop 2, the state indicated values that aligned more with Jordan than with the now-elected governor, Little. Perhaps this data indicates that while many Idahoans stay loyal to Republicans in their vote, their views are somewhat challenging conservative stances.
In an article by the New York Times, reporters speculated that perhaps it’s the influx of Californians coming to Idaho that will help push the state towards more progressive tendencies. However, the article also claims that there will be no political revolution anytime soon — and the residents of Idaho don’t expect as much. Still, perhaps a more moderate climate can be reached.
American Women Making History
The results of the recent election early in November backup Idaho’s Republican inclination, but also mark the possibility for less division. While left-leaning individuals might not be all that happy about the results, there is much to celebrate.
While Jordan wasn’t elected governor this year, many other women across the country joined the ranks of American women who have made history. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar both became the first Muslim women elected to Congress; at the age of 29, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress; Sharice Davids and Democrat Deb Haaland became the first Native American women elected to Congress; Kim Reynolds became the first woman elected to be governor in Iowa — and many more, according to NPR.
Even in Idaho, there were many women on the ballot, both Republicans and Democrats alike. Perhaps these women can help this state and the country battle for the true values of our nation. No matter what, it’s clear that Idaho has changes ahead in its future. Hopefully, these changes will encompass the interest of all current and future Americans, as well as that of the global community.
Author: Geo Sique is a content creator from Boise, ID. Passionate about social justice, she frequently writes articles on culture and societal issues and aspires to make a positive impact through her writing.