BOISE, Idaho -

Idaho's minority party has lost even more of its small grasp inside the Republican-dominant Statehouse after key Democratic candidates failed to win their re-election bids in Tuesday's election.
   
While Democrats were never at the cusp of taking control of the Idaho Legislature this year, Tuesday's loss is a blow to left-leaning supporters who had spent the past year looking forward to fighting for health care access, removing certain religious exemption laws and advocating more school funding over looming tax cuts.
   
Come January, there will be just 11 House Democrats and six Senate Democrats inside the 105-member Statehouse.
   
House Minority Leader John Rusche and Sen. Dan Schmidt, two of Idaho's three doctors currently serving inside the Legislature, lost their bids for re-election. Meanwhile, Republican challengers emerged victorious in two open seats against Democratic candidates.