Idaho Republicans worry GOP brand hurting

Idaho Republicans worry GOP brand hurting »Play Video
BOISE -- Republican primary winners and losers gathered Wednesday for a show of solidarity at the Capitol Annex on the morning after the Idaho primary election.

Congressman Bill Sali was joined by defeated challenger Matt Salisbury. Sali faces Democrat Walt Minnick in the fall and state Republican party leaders say they're ready.

"Everybody thinks that our party is in disarray," said Idaho Republican Party Chairman Kirk Sullivan. "But we're not in disarray and we're going to show everybody come November that we're still the reddest state in the country."

Disarray may not be the word, but many Republicans around the country are worried their party has been beaten a little black and blue.

And that includes U.S. Senate candidate Jim Risch, who faces Democrat Larry LaRocco in November.

"Certainly the brand is suffering right now," Risch said. "We have had difficulties, some of our own making; others, from the circumstances as they are today."

The circumstances include an unpopular president, war, torturous gas prices, foreclosures, and a nervous economy.

Political observers say it's a recipe for change.

"I think we're all more focused on the economy and the war," said Boise State political science Prof. John Freemuth, "and looking for new faces as it were, whether they be Republican or Democrat."

Freemuth says the Democrats would be struggling if the shoe was on the other foot. But it's not -- and the Grand Old Party may need some extra spit and polish for its image this fall.