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Poll: Voters Want Candidates to Be Specific About Idaho’s Children

August 4, 2008

Boise, ID – When it comes to children's issues, child abuse and neglect are top concerns for Idaho voters, according to a national survey by the advocacy group Every Child Matters. The poll also ranked childhood poverty, health insurance and education as important issues, across party lines. Respondents want some reassurance that politicians are paying attention to these priorities, too.

Cathy Kowalski owns a childcare program. As a representative of the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children, she says, while political candidates often say they support "children's causes," they are rarely specific about what that means - and equally vague about the actions they would take to make kids' lives better.

Meanwhile, she adds, inflation and economic insecurity are amplifying parents' concerns for their children.

"As prices continue grow, I'm seeing more families who had Mom saying home are being forced to go work to make ends meet. Families are struggling more and more. They have so many odds against them, that candidates have to take seriously the economic and social issues that families are facing."

The poll also showed a rising pessimism for children's futures, with 45 percent of respondents predicting their children will be "worse off" than people are now. Every Child Matters commissioned the poll of 800 "likely voters" during the second week of July. The results can be viewed online, at

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - ID