The Statesman isn't going to endorse a Republican candidate for the 1st congressional district, saying that the choice is between an erratic freshman or a passive challenger. The Statesman makes a good case for Sali being erratic. Wingnuttiness combined with being a freshman and being in the minority party means that Sali won't be able to actually accomplish much, so to generate headlines he tries stunts, i.e., he's erratic.
I don't know Matt Salisbury, but he sure hasn't done much to impress so far, so I can't dispute the passive label.
My point is that this match up reveals the truth behind a canard I hear every election. Someone will be noting how reflexively Republican Idaho voters are, and the reply is "If Democrats would put up good candidates they 'd get more people elected." Well, yeah, it does take good candidates. Larry Grant was a good candidate and a moderate Democrat, and Sali beat him. Walt Minnick has been and still is a good candidate, another moderate Democrat, and yet he's certainly not a shoo in.
If the reds respond to this by saying, "These guys are too liberal," then I say that statement is just code for saying "Any Democrat is too liberal, therefore we must always vote red." A third of Idaho's electorate claims to be independent. I've said before that these folks may think they're independent, but they don't vote that way. Anyone who claims to be independent but votes for Sali over Grant or Minnick ought to reassess and admit that they're Republican to the core.