The report based on the results of the 2024 Idaho Public Policy survey illustrates key trends in the Gem State.

Released in January, the ninth annual public policy report highlights the findings of a survey conducted by the Idaho Policy Institute at Boise State University. Conducted in November, the study asked a swath of questions to 1,007 Idahoans from all 44 counties.

The survey had a 3% margin of error. Questions touched on topics like education, politics, abortion and public libraries, among others.

Front page of the Ninth Annual Idaho Public Policy Survey Report

The 2024 Idaho Public Policy Survey questioned 1,007 residents from all 44 Idaho counties. Photo credit: Boise State University

Regarding abortion, Idahoans favor an expansion of exemptions currently enshrined in Idaho law.

“What we found was that about a third of Idahoans favored maintaining the status quo as it was described to them in the question,” said Matthew May, the survey research director. “58% favored expanding exceptions to the existing law. They disagreed, though, on where exactly that line should be drawn.

Matthew May, Survey Research Director

Matthew May is the Survey Research Director at the School of Public Service. Photo credit: Boise State University

It is important to note that one section of the Idaho code currently describes abortion as being banned after six weeks of pregnancy. However, another section of the state code does not include the six-week exemption. The question, as stated in the survey, does not reference the part of the Idaho code that excludes mention of the six-week ban, which May suggests could have influenced responses.

As for Idaho public libraries and the subject of book banning, 69% of respondents trust the libraries and the librarians to choose the books that go on the shelf.

According to the study, an overwhelming majority of state residents (74%) favor a primary election to a caucus (13%). Residents would also like to see United States presidential and Idaho state primary elections being held on the same day (74%).

The study also found that newcomers to Idaho, within the last decade, were more likely to identify as Republicans (+11%) and less likely to identify as Independents (-10%).

Elsewhere in the study, residents pointed to the job market, economy and housing as what should be the top three legislative priorities.

Second page of the Ninth Annual Idaho Public Policy Survey Report

The 2024 Idaho Public Policy Survey unveiled nine key findings about Idahoan opinions onf several topics. Photo credit: Boise State University

May points to one particular question as the most interesting finding of the survey. Forty-three percent of Idahoans believe that the state is “off on the wrong track,”— up 3% from last year.

“I think the largest or the most significant finding was we asked a report card question every year: ‘Do you think things in Idaho are headed in the right direction, or do you feel that things are off on the wrong track?’” May said. “And we’ve asked this all nine years that we’ve done this incarnation of the survey, and this is the first time in its history that the most frequent response has been wrong track. About 43% of Idahoans said that the state was off on the wrong track, compared to about 40% who thought we were headed in the right direction.”

To find and read the full report, go to the Idaho Policy Institute.