Thursday, November 06, 2008

Why is Wyoming so darn red?

An article in today's Casper Star-Tribune notes that 65 percent of Wyoming voters cast their ballots for McCain. That is the largest McCain margin of any state save Oklahoma, which came in at 66 percent. Wyoming voted more red than our redder-than-red Rocky Mountain neighbors Idaho and Utah. In Idaho, McCain got 62 percent of the vote and Obama got 36 percent. In Utah, 63 percent supported McCain; 34 percent were for Obama.

Wyoming also sent three Republicans to Congress, with Repub Cynthia Lummis as the new U.S. House member. We'll have a lot of dissecting and transecting of this vote during the next few weeks. We do know that Repubs hate Washington, D.C., especially when the Repubs aren't in power -- especially when the Feds aren't sending us any money. Per capita, Wyoming is one of the top states reaping federal largesse. I ain't complaining, since it does a lot of good in this state in social services, health care, transportation and the arts. Then, I'm a Democrat who doesn't spend his livelong day complaining about the gubment. I spent two years in D.C. during the Clinton years and learned a few things in the process.

We Dems are partly to blame. We're still getting organized, still trying to figure out how it's done. Montana may be able to show us the way. We'll see. Meanwhile, we have to study Gov Dave's modus operandi to see how he does it.

Here's an interesting quote from the Star-Tribune:

Lewis Newman of Casper, a Republican and lifelong Wyoming resident, said he wasn't a bit surprised to see the GOP dominate Tuesday -- but he's not sure it's such a good thing.

It's not healthy for the Republicans to have so much power, Newman said.

"If they took Saddam Hussein and put an 'R' behind his name, he would get elected in this state," Newman said. "Voters don't give two thoughts to who they send back to Washington."


outwest4life said...

We Dems are partly to blame. We're still getting organized, still trying to figure out how it's done."


As a fellow Dem (thanks for relieving me at KFBC on election night!) I think there are two main reasons for our minority numbers.

First -- perception.

Here's a true story. On Wednesday, the day after the election, I went to Guns and Gear on Lincolnway. While there, a patron was asked if he needed help, and his response was, "No, I was just so upset by the Presidential election results, that I needed to come down here for 'friendlier' company."

Regrettably, I didn't inform him that at least 1/3rd of the patrons in the store were Obama supporters (2 of the 6 vehicles in the lot sported Obama stickers).

Second -- and more importantly -- projection.

Just as the far-right neo-cons often receive too much press, our far-left groups often receive more attention. By projecting the extreme sides of both parties, many moderates are turned away from the core message of the party.

Our message should project compassion, social responsibility, and liberty.

Too often, right or wrong, the far-left projects the message that we are hedonistic, irresponsible, immoral, and riotous.

If we focused our message on the inclusive fundamental tenets of our party doctrine, we'd be more likely to persuade others to listen to our message.

When we get away from the fundamentals and try to fight battles for select groups, we become exclusionists.


Michael Shay said...

Perception and projection. Good points. I keep wondering about this rush to buy firearms, especially assault rifles. Guns for hunting and protection are one thing. Obama has pledged to protect the rights of responsible gun-owners and hunters. But what is the purpose of an assault rifle? Maybe my percention is skewed, but I don't understand why my neighbor needs a weapon of war in his living room.