Friday, March 09, 2012

Four years after: In the afterglow of the 2008 Wyoming caucuses, all things seemed possible

On this day four years ago, I mused about the possibilities that presented themselves to Wyoming Democrats. We were all aglow following record turnouts at county caucuses. None of us expected the eventual presidential candidate to win Wyoming, but we were hopeful that Jackson’s Gary Trauner could clinch the state’s lone U.S. House seat. He had come within 1,000 votes of unseating wildly unpopular Republican Barbara Cubin in 2006. As it turned out, John McCain enjoyed his second-largest vote margin in Wyoming, coming in right behind Oklahoma and just ahead of Idaho and Utah. Trauner was trounced by newcomer Cynthia Lummis, who continues to be a party-line Republican. 

On March 9, 2008, we were slightly optimistic that red Wyoming would morph into a shade of purple.
The message is clear. It takes a well-organized and well-funded campaign to win an election. Democrats in Wyoming have been down so long it looks like up to us. Many had just given up. It took a lot of effort to get them out of their lethargy – but they did come out. Almost 8,700 votes were cast statewide. In the 2004 county conventions, less that 700 votes were cast. The 2008 numbers are 12 times those of 2004. Some of those reflect people who switched parties, a Republican or Independent registering as a Dem and who will probably switch back before November. But most of those voters were either new registrants or newly-motivated Dems or people so fed up with the Republican Party that they switched and won’t go back. I know several of those in Cheyenne.
Read the rest of my March 9, 2008, post at

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