OPINION: How Sandpoint’s politics seemingly compare to the rest of Idaho

Josh Wells, Multimedia Editor


Idaho is well known for being a more right leaning state, since 2000, Idaho has only elected republican president senators and representatives. And for most areas of Idaho, this philosophy holds constant.

However, much of Sandpoint remains an enigma to this general rule. Where in the rest of the state, besides the most populated areas you might find one in ten people being a liberal, in sandpoint the number is much closer to one in two, which is the national average.

So what makes Sandpoint such a liberal place? Why is it so different from the rest of the state and from so many rural areas from all across the country?

This can be explained by several things, mostly due to Sandpoint’s unique geography.

First of all, Schweitzer plays a big role in this, as ski towns are well known to be liberal areas across the country. They attract a wide variety of people from the elderly to people just out of college, but they’re consistently more liberal.

In addition to this, Sandpoint’s natural beauty is a big attractor for tourism. This influx of people compared to the average small town, skews Sandpoint towards a more balanced amount of liberals and conservatives.

So what does this mean for Sandpoint High School? Is the influx of liberalism to Sandpoint beneficial or a detriment to the average students education?

The mix of political ideas from a wide range of liberalism and conservatism makes Sandpoint a perfect place to be exposed to new or different ideas.

Both too much liberalism and too much conservatism are bad for an individual, so Sandpoint being a sort of “melting pot” for political philosophy allows students to gain a more well rounded view of the world then someone living in a very rural, typically conservative area, or someone in a typically liberal big city.

This well rounded view can allow students to decide for themselves what they believe politically, instead of just having the same view as their family.