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Lt. Gov. Jim Risch (R) led former Rep. Larry LaRocco (D) by 12 points in a new independent poll conducted to gauge the state of the race for Idaho’s open Senate seat. Sen. Larry Craig (R) is retiring.

According to a poll conducted by Boise, Idaho-based Greg Smith and Associates, Risch was ahead of LaRocco 41 percent to 29 percent. Independent candidate Rex Rammell garnered 3 percent.

The survey of 600 voters deemed either somewhat or very likely to vote in November was conducted Aug. 18-22.

The margin of error was 4 points.

Idaho is solid Republican territory, and Risch is expected to win in November, although LaRocco is running a spirited race.

Pollster Greg Smith served on Craig’s staff in the early ’90s, but now conducts independent polls, mainly for corporate clients.

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