Looking at major job sources in the areas seems to demonstrate a corollary as well.

Big Ag combined with upwards of 70% LDS is perhaps the explanation for the push toward larger government programs in East Idaho. You simply cannot win as a non-LDS, and the LDS-Ward system which has attendance based on geography likely plays a large role in maintaining the Establishment.

You'll note that North Idaho has quite a bit of independent contractor types so they benefit much less to government carveouts/subsidies.

And then SW Idaho is a mixed bag. It's hard to get away from the influence of large 180 companies that employ 80% of the workforce. Basically, if you're an employee of St. Luke's, you'll likely not have as much of a problem with policies that support your employer.

The good news of Big Company Establishment politics is that the handouts typically stay in Idaho. In the case of Big Ag, it literally goes back into the land of Idaho. Because of this, even Establishment types saying they are supporting Idaho through corporate subsidies really are telling the truth that they are Idaho First.

It's just whether it's Idaho COMPANY First or Idaho INDIVIDUAL First.

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Thank you for doing the math and research that most of us cannot begin to tackle. You're 100% right that many voters view politics as a distasteful subject. I cannot disagree. But the downstream effects of uninformed, uninvolved voters is disastrous for us all.

I implore voters to study the primary election candidates and issues. Talk to them (don't just look at the sensationalist mailers and social media, or even their websites). Ask about their votes on issues you care about. Also, employ some of the many good (non-smeary) voter guides available*, and do your own research. THEN VOTE IN THE PRIMARIES ON MAY 21.

Most people still don’t know that the PRIMARIES are where the most important decisions are made. The choices you make affect your life and the lives of every Idahoan every day. So study carefully. Then be sure to vote on May 21! Waiting for the General election is dangerous to everyone’s personal and financial freedom.

*Shameless plug: I've been working on a voting guide to help people make more informed decisions (short URL): https://tinyurl.com/yh8jhppm. Feel free to use and share it if you find it valuable.

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As I've commented before, thank you for the thoughtful and objective analysis. I will continue to pass along your Substack to the new voters I am meeting in my town.

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