Somewhere in Wyoming


Nobody's paid much attention to the Wyoming caucus but it's happening today and Jim Geraghty has an explainer:

At 9 a.m. local time, Wyoming Republicans will go to 23 county seats for their caucuses. At eleven of those locations, they will be picking one convention delegate; at eleven of those locations, they will be picking alternates, and at one they will be picking one of both.

Laramie County, where the county seat is Cheyenne, will be casting for both and was awarded this bonus because their county cast the most votes for Barbara Cubin in the last Congressional election. Candidates that are picking a delegate this cycle will be picking an alternate next cycle, and vice versa.

"The way it will work is that the county chair will ask any registered Republican to write their name on a blackboard, and next to that which candidate they would support," says Tom Sansonetti, the 2008 Republican County Convention Coordinator. "There may be multiple potential delegates for each candidate, or just one, or none. Then they address the delegates and say why they support the candidate they support. And then they vote, and keep voting until someone gets 50 percent plus one." They knock off the potential delegate who came in last each time.

Paul has been advertising in the state, a dirt cheap place to do so, and Paul won a GOP straw poll in Laramie. Geraghty's predicition:

Discussions with local county chairs suggest the following results, or something along these lines, would not be surprising: eight delegates for Romney, two delegates for Thompson, one delegate for Ron Paul, and one delegate for Duncan Hunter.

This is the sense I get from Paul people: If it was a straight caucus they'd do well, but the Rube Goldberg voting system and requirements lean it toward more mainstream, satisfied-with-Bush Republicans.

NEXT: Sure Loser Ron Paul Crushes Sure Frontrunner Giuliani—And Not Because Giuliani Gave Up

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  1. Is this what we’re reduced to: clutching at straw polls in Laramie?
    Why can’t we have majestic Rudyesque fantasies of crushing everyone in Florida? Dream big, people!

  2. The procedure for selecting delegates to the national convention is extremely straighforward and very democratic.

    One can be nominated at one of the 23 county conventions by a friend or they can nominate themselves. Each delegate candidate is given an opportunity to address the entire convention at which point they declare themselves for a candidate (or uncommitted).

    After a short Q & A session, the voting begins. It continues until 50% +1 of those present at the convention elect a single candidate.

    Now there is a reason Ron Paul is only pulling in 5% of the Republican vote nationwide. His radical libertarianism is not resonating with GOP voters. Just because Republican regulars who attend these conventions are, for lack of a better ID, “satisfied with Bush” Republicans doesn’t mean the process isn’t fair.

    What the Paulbots are complaining about is that Republicans don’t agree with their candidate’s positions on the issues – hence, his low standing in the polls and his inability to appeal to GOP regulars at places like county conventions in Wyoming.

    Truly bizarre but then, I’m not a Paulbot…

  3. This is a nice article about the mechanics and realities of the system. It should become more relevant as the parties remain split throughout the process. The punditocracy is covering the last cycle.

  4. Rick,

    I think Paul’s got atleast a 10-15% base US wide and if that gets him enough delegates to force some sort of brokered convention come fall, all the better.

  5. Rick, what the article is trying to point out is that by splitting the delegate allocation up, it favours the mainstream candidates.

    Why? Think of it like this:

    Candidate A gets 49% of the votes in all the districts.
    Candidate B gets 51% of the votes in all the districts.

    In some systems, Candidate A would get 49% of the delegates (likely half due to rounding).
    In this sytem, Candidate A would get no delegates.

    If Ron Paul has 10% support around Wyoming, he won’t get 2.3 of the delegates/alternates, he’ll likely get none.

    He may manage to pick up one if there is a heavy enough concentration of support in one area.

  6. The person the presidential candidate needs to convince is the most popular activist of the party in that county who’s also willing to be a delegate to the national convention. Chances are that the caucus attendees are voting for the delegate, rather than for the presidential candidate the delegate has declared for. In half the counties, chances are good their vote will never count toward the presidential nomination because this time they’re voting for only an alternate, and chances are that all the delegate-electing counties will be able to elect a delegate who’ll be able to attend the convention and stay sober enough to vote there.

  7. There are people in Wyoming?

  8. There are people in Wyoming?

    You know, I’ve wondered that myself. I mean, has anyone actually known anyone from Wyoming personally? I don’t know anybody who has!

  9. I know a prof in Wyoming. So that makes one. Since he works at a college, I would say there are at least 3 or 4 other people in that state.

  10. One important point: no one attending today may vote unless they were elected at the 2006 primary to a party seat or who were appointed two weeks ago at precinct caucuses to fill seats.

    Registered Republicans who show up may run for delegate, but THEY CANNOT VOTE.

    This is all pre-determined.

  11. There are people in Wyoming?

    It’s not that there are no people there, it’s that nobody will admit to being from there until favorite son Dick Cheney is forgotten.

  12. Ah, Dick Cheney, so that makes two people (plus the 3 or 4 people by virtue of existence of a college there).

  13. I know some folks in Wyoming – likely Fred voters. They live in a town where all the Mormons in Salt Lake drive to in order to purchase liquor, porn, and fireworks.

  14. Evanston.

    I used to live in Salt Lake City.

    It was either Evanston or Wendover, Nevada.

  15. Bingo! Evanston.

  16. Where can one follow a minute by minute Wyoming “voting” results? 😉

  17. * Evanston is the birthplace of Bush White House spokesperson and Press Secretary Dana Perino
    * Evanston is the official practice center for the Jamaican Bobsled Team.
    * Evanston is home to Reverend Harold Chris Smith, author of “The Glory Of Gods Love”
    * Evanston provided temporary refuge, along with the U.S. Army, for Chinese miners who fled violent attacks, known as the Rock Springs Massacre in nearby Rock Springs on September 2, 1885.
    * In the 1990s movie SLC Punk!, Steveo and Heroin Bob go to Evanston to buy alcohol from Porters Fireworks.
    * Evanston is home to the only fully intact roundhouse on the Union Pacific Railroad and the only fully intact roundhouse on the original First Transcontinental Railroad grade.
    * In the center of downtown you can find a monument created out of two lengths of steel from the Twin Towers (New York City), destroyed by terrorist attacks September 11, 2001.

  18. Geee! The USA Today is tracking the results here.

  19. This guy lives in Wyoming.

    On a separate yet completely unrelated note, Wyoming is a bit of a tax haven, a good place to form an LLC or a corporation. Much like Nevada and probably as good. Better than Delaware.

  20. Yep, I am a person in wyoming. There is a larger following for Ron Paul here than folks are letting on. I’ll admit, I am one of them. He is the only traditional Conservative that I see here. He was one of only a couple that came here to campaign. Lastly, folks around here don’t care much for big government. Paul is the only candidate backing the reduction of it on a large scale. Anyway, carry on with your sarcasm. You want to know something comical? I know nobody that is from New York or New Hampshire.

  21. Evanston is the birthplace of Bush White House spokesperson and Press Secretary Dana Perino

    Um, that would be “hottie” Press Secretary Dana Perino.

  22. Dan,

    It is not personal. The guy I know from Wyoming is great. I have only been to Montana. Great rugged, individuals of there. And I am sure the same in Wyoming. I just do not understand how they end up voting for Bush or Romney. Funny, especially for Romney who is neither for small government. For God’s sake, he’s been the governor of MA (as some call it here, the “police state”)!

    I wish our man gets Wyoming.

    By the way, 8% reporting so far and Romney gets 1 vote (I guess that means one precinct, otherwise that means that there are 13 people in Wyoming, all in all).

  23. What a gyp! Wyoming has some of the largest per capita support for Paul.

    Fucking establishment!

  24. folks around here don’t care much for big government.

    Does that mean you’d be willing to pay market rates for your BLM grazing leases?

  25. “hottie” Press Secretary Dana Perino.

    ed, what is it with you and short haired women?

  26. “hottie” Press Secretary Dana Perino.

    She’s doable, but only if she’s got a sock stuffed in her mouth so I don’t have to hear her yappin.

  27. I am not a fan of Romney at all, and most I know aren’t either. There is a good sized based of Mormon Voters here though. There seems to be some blind faith voting and side taking in this camp, though Romney hasn’t done much in line with fundamental Mormon views. Huckabee I think is getting the same support, evangelicals ready for a Christian Pastor-President, even if his record and views don’t line up. In fact, Ron Paul fits them much better on both sides, Traditional Christian and LDS, IMO.

    I’m LDS (Mormon) by the way.

    I agree though with the above analysis, with our system here it would be difficult for anybody but a mainstreamer to win. Paul is becoming more and more mainstream. Keep up the fight!

  28. Dan,

    May I ask, have you voted. If not, why are you here now? 😉 But please feel free to stay here and please do not go vote if you’re not voting for Paul. 😉 Just kidding!

  29. Dan, you may want to meet my good friend “prolefeed” who is, I believe, also Mormon. He’s in HI, probably still in bed.

  30. Does that mean you’d be willing to pay market rates for your BLM grazing leases?

    Get a rope.

  31. RE: There are people in Wyoming?

    Yes. I’ve been there, I’ve seen them. They are a tougher lot though, than people who make statements like, “There are people in Wyoming?”

    RP may do quite well there. Time will tell.


    “Nomination for Shepherd Humphries, supports Ron Paul (burst of applause)”

    Ron Paul getting a little love in Teton County… Cool beans.

  33. You know, I’ve wondered that myself. I mean, has anyone actually known anyone from Wyoming personally?

    Well, one of my ex-girlfriend’s father – but he’s dead, so I don’t think he’s gonna be voting. Wyoming isn’t exactly Chicago, you know.

  34. 2 delegates for Romney. None for every one else! 17% reporting.

  35. 2 delegates for Romney. None for every one else! 17% reporting.

    Ali, where are you getting your updates from?

  36. Pig Manix: See my comment at 12:03.

  37. Damn it! 3 for Mitt.

  38. And that last one was Laramie, btw.

  39. @Ali

    Thanks – hey, Rasmussen’s has Paul polling at 14% in New Hampshire! How cool is that?

  40. Pig Manix- Yeah. I am hopeful. I am heading to Manchester this evening for the ABC debate.

  41. Stephen B.-

    I was kidding. I’ve never been to the interior west but I understand that its by far the most libertarian-leaning part of the country (sans Utah).

  42. Ali–are you going to actually be inside the debate hall?

  43. Ben- Probably better. With Rand Paul and Barry Goldwater at a nearby bar!

  44. Romney goes for 5-0 according to the WYo. GOP. 7 more delegates left. But with Laramie gone, not sure if there is a point behind watching this any further.

  45. That is better! I’m jealous.

  46. Dan, when I was but a wee lad and in awe of cowboys and Clint Eastwood our family rolled into Cheyenne, which I had been waiting for ever since we left on vacation two days prior.

    I was crushed to see that everybody in Cheyenne had a car or a truck. There wasn’t a horse in sight, no hitching rails, no watering troughs, no cowboys with saddle guns or six shooters. In short, it wasn’t the Old West I had envisioned. 🙁

  47. Ben, I know. It is exciting. I do not know how many people will be there. It would be nice if it is a small group to make the interaction all the more personal. But more ain’t bad either. We need to make a big loud noise.

  48. Dan, and as I mentioned earlier, Liberty’s Cartoonist lives in Wyoming. Link upthread for those who didn’t see it.

    ed, what is it with you and short haired women?

    Baked, I’m with you on that. It takes a hell of a woman to pull off my vision of hottie with shorn tresses, but this Dana chick ain’t bad–but she was hotter before she cut her hair.

  49. Ali, I was skeptical of ongoing claims by all my friends that Fox was hyper biased toward extablishment neo-con Republicans. I’m am being forced to reconsider in light of the ongoing efforts at Fox cable to bury RP.

  50. USAToday is showing 4-1 Romney-Hunter. Where are you getting the 5 from Ali?

  51. TWC- I think that they may still back down and let RP in. We’ll see. But there is a 10,000 people rally being organized during the debate. That ought to attract some attention.

  52. robc- (click on the flag) but I think they fixed. Hunter’s is an alternate. What the hell does this mean?

  53. Ali,

    If they try that, RP should tell them that if he’d been invited when everyone else was, he would have attended, but he’s now committed to attend a rally at the same time.

    That “F— you” moment will be worth far more than the 4 minutes he would get to answer gotcha questions during the debate.

  54. I hope Fox doesn’t let Ron Paul in. I think that if something like the 10,000 person rally that Ali mentions happened it might make Ron Paul look even better and Fox look even worse. He would get more positive media attention than if he got to sit at a table and have Chris Wallace ask him moronic, disrespectful questions that have nothing to do with the current election.

  55. That “F— you” moment will be worth far more than the 4 minutes he would get to answer gotcha questions during the debate.

    Priceless 🙂

    Date: January 5, 2008
    Contact: Fergus Cullen, Chairman, New Hampshire Republican
    603-225-9341 office, 603-520-5450 cell


    CONCORD – New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Fergus Cullen
    releases the following statement regarding Sunday’s Republican forum
    on FOX:

    “The first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary serves a national
    purpose by giving all candidates an equal opportunity on a level
    playing field. Only in New Hampshire do lesser known, lesser funded
    underdogs have a fighting chance to establish themselves as national
    figures. Consistent with that tradition, we believe all recognized
    major candidates should have an equal opportunity to participate in
    pre-primary debates and forums.

    “This principle applies to tonight’s debates on ABC as well as
    Sunday’s planned forum on FOX. The New Hampshire Republican Party
    believes Congressmen Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter should be included in
    the FOX forum on Sunday evening. Our mutual efforts to resolve this
    difference have failed.”

    “While we understand that FOX News continues to move forward it is
    with regret, the New Hampshire Republican Party hereby withdraws as a
    partner in this forum.”

  57. That GOP action by itself cast a negative light on Fox AND those invited by Fox.

  58. Ben,

    The Free Staters are organizing it as part of their program. Ron Paul’s speech (during the debate) was part of the Free State Project’s Forum, but now they are opening it to the public at a nominal fee to attract more people. We’ll see how that goes.

  59. I wonder where Crook County, Wyo., goes to.

  60. Perhaps Fox should get this guy in lieu of Ron Paul at the debate.

    It would certainly make for a more worthwhile and entertaining debate.

  61. >> There are people in Wyoming?

    > You know, I’ve wondered that myself. I mean,
    > has anyone actually known anyone from Wyoming
    > personally? I don’t know anybody who has!

    I have a crazy rocket scientist friend living in a converted Atlas E Missile Silo in a town called Chugwater, about 45min north of Cheyenne. He’s running a small rocket startup (Frontier Astronautics). I also have a friend from here in Tehachapi,CA that just moved back to Laramie to start up his own rocket company (SpeedUp).

    So while I don’t know if any normal people live in Wyoming… 😉


  62. Mitt Romney has won the State big!

    7 delegates.

    Couple each for Fred Thompson and Duncan Hunter. One for McCain.

    Zero for Ron Paul.

  63. where men are men and sheep are nervous

  64. Mitt Romney has won the State big!

    Where’s your buddy boy Giuliani, Rittberg? Or did you think we didn’t notice your rank bandwagoning?

  65. In light of his comeback performance in the Wyoming Caucuses, we have decided to invite Duncan Hunter to the GOP Candidate Roundtable on January 6 at 8:00 PM EST

  66. where men are men and sheep are nervous

    …and Earache Dildero is in heaven!

  67. describes the situation well: purely an event for party hacks:

    “The Wyoming county conventions were NOT open to Republican voters. Eligible delegates consisted of only two groups: Republican party officials who were elected in 2006; and delegates who were appointed (by established precinct organizations) to fill empty delegate seats”

  68. I wonder if this will get any play in the Boston and Manchester media markets.

  69. It takes a hell of a woman to pull off my vision of hottie with shorn tresses…

    TWC – there was a line about that from King of the Hill. Hank said “that’s just a waste, like a pretty girl with short hair.”

  70. Yes. I’ve been there, I’ve seen them. They are a tougher lot though, than people who make statements like, “There are people in Wyoming?”

    Lighten up Francis.

    FWIW, I could easily relocate to the west, maybe even to the great state of Wyoming. Unlike the DC environs, people leave you the alone and don’t try and micromanage every little aspect of your life.

  71. I want to know who Dondero’s new hero will be after Romney flames out. You gonna shill for McCain then Dondero?

  72. No, I’m not going to “shill” for McCain if Romney wipes out. I’ll vote Libertarian, and hopefully that will be Wayne Allyn Root or Bob Barr.

    (Please LPers don’t nominate Kubby or Phillies).

    If it’s Obama, McCain, and Ron Paul on the Libertarian ticket, I’m screwed.

    That’d be the only instance where I’d vote for McCain, (unless he picked Sarah Palin of JC Watts as his VP.)

  73. This morning on Lew Rockwell’s Blog he was urging all the Ron Paul people to “stay tune” to Wyoming, and watch carefully the results, hinting at a Big Paul Win. They were bragging how Paul had run TV and Radio in WY, and had campaigned in the State.

    By the afternoon, Eric Garris at LRC was lashing out at Wyoming Republicans, calling them tired old “Party Hacks.”

    Absolutely hilarious. As if nobody would notice there shift from the morning’s hype.

  74. There are people in Wyoming ? Apparently one in every county….. I am following this correctly ?

  75. LRC was not hinting at a big win. No one was expecting any more than one delegate. The caucuses were NOT open to Republican voters, it was party leadership selecting delegates. Stop trying to spin this a devastating loss.

    In fact, stop trying to spin the news in the first place. We’re all getting tired of seeing you spinning, getting dizzy, and then throwing up.

  76. that’s just a waste, like a pretty girl with short hair.

    [Raises a glass as if to toast something]

  77. Congratulations Duncan Hunter – You got 1 delegate to the GOP convention!!!!

  78. I live in Wyoming and I attended my county’s convetion on Saturday. Right now, The straw poll results don’t match up at all with the delegates. Ron Paul, for instance, won Campbell County – the energy capital of the United States and the location of the city of Gillette. However, he didn’t get the delegate – you guess it, Romney got it. In Park County, Duncan Hunter won the straw poll there on Saturday, 26 to 20, but, once again, he didn’t get their delegate – you guessed it, Romney got that one as well.

    It really comes down to, who is willing to go to the convention, which isn’t a free ride! Also, a potential delegate needs to get atleast 50% of the delegate vote in order to win the spot. In my county, we selected an alternate, who is going “uncommitted” to a candidate. However, our straw poll was won by Fred Thompson. Notice anything here? The underdogs were winning the straw polls here.

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