Wyoming Hits the National Radar, Hillary Campaigning There Too

This is an update to my late night post last night, which at the time seemed just an amusing late night tidbit.

Wyoming is turning serious. There are 23 county caucuses in the state Saturday. In addition to Bill, Chelsea and Obama, Hillary's going too:

Does the outcome matter? The AP reports:

The number of registered Democrats has grown by more than 1,000 since the start of the year, the secretary of state's office says. Republicans have 136,000 registered voters, compared to 59,000 Democrats.


I guess it does for delegate totals. But I can't imagine any superdelegates outside Wyoming will be swayed by Saturday's vote. And in November, the state will vote Republican. The state's Democratic Party Chair is anti-Hillary and sounds like a Republican.

"I feel a lot of conservative Republicans may not show on Election Day to vote for Sen. (John) McCain, but they may show up to vote against her," John Millin, the state Democratic Party chair, said of McCain, the Republican nominee-in-waiting.

His comments sparked some controversy in the state. "I think Chairman Millin is wrong. And I would go further. I would say it ill behooves the chairman of the Wyoming Democratic Party to rule out one of the two leading contenders for the office," said Kathy Karpan, who was in charge of an Interior Department office during the Clinton presidency.

Wyoming does have a Democratic Governor, who's not taking sides. He doesn't like either Hillary or Obama. Wyoming has a lot of Independent voters, which when added to the caucus factor, may help Obama.

The Casper Tribune backed Obama and McCain back in December.

Here are the state's demographics.

Wyoming is known as the "Equality State" for women's rights:

Wyoming is also known as the "Equality State" because of the rights women have traditionally enjoyed here. Wyoming women were the first in the nation to vote, serve on juries and hold public office.

In 1869, Wyoming's territorial legislature became the first government in the world to grant "female suffrage" by enacting a bill granting Wyoming women the right to vote. The act was signed into law on December 10 of that year by Governor A.J. Campbell.

There's also a gay community in Wyoming. Bill Clinton, as President in 1999, was a strong backer of hate crimes legislation in the wake of the Matthew Shepard murder. Who will they support? In California, " Clinton won gay voters 62-32 over Obama. They made up 4 percent of the vote."

In unrelated but important Wyoming news, the legislature is considering a bill for medical parole:

A Senate bill that would grant temporary parole to inmates with terminal or severe medical conditions that could not be treated within the Department of Corrections is currently up for debate in the Wyoming House of Representatives.

SF0088, sponsored by Goshen County Sen. Curt Meier, provides several criteria for inmates to be granted this parole, including whether or not the inmate is likely to flee or violate any laws if freed and whether or not the inmate’s condition would endanger the public. Inmates sentenced to death or life in prison without parole would not be eligible for medical parole.

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  • Display: Sort:
    This could get very interesting if (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by OldCoastie on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:22:32 PM EST
    Obama doesn't show up to campaign.

    That's okay (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:35:42 PM EST
    I'm sure his "organizers" have a plan to make the caucuses work - better than ever! - for them.  

    If I were Hillary, I would be getting my people wahtever paperwork they needed in order to be official observers of the caucus.


    I read yesterday that districts in which (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by hairspray on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:42:07 PM EST
    Hillary won overwhelmingly somehow had become Obama votes during the caucus.  My friend from TX described her experience there and I can see how "pushy and agressive" Obama supporters could change the numbers.

    I just drove through Wyoming (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by spit on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:28:27 PM EST
    last summer for the first time. Laramie actually looked like an interesting little city, though of course as a queer I have had a terrible association with it for a long time.

    I don't think the outcome is necessarily all that important in the larger primary -- it's very small in terms of delegates and probably too red right now to matter much to superdelegates -- but I'm glad to see anything happen there that might build some Dem infrastructure for the longer term and for more local races.  

    Maybe it's because I'm in the CA central valley that usually goes largely ignored, but I do quite like seeing attention this cycle go to some places that rarely get any.

    While I don't expect a Hillary win there... (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:30:29 PM EST
    ...it would be great because it would show that she has adapted to the caucus system, and that she is a fighter.

    RE: not being too Democratic (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by scribe on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:38:54 PM EST
    we need to remember that Democrat Gary Trauner, who's also running again this year, nearly took Wyoming's at large House seat in 2006.  The Republican incumbent's margin of victory was 1,012 votes out of 193,369 cast.  

    Just FWIW, the total population of the state in 2006 was about 515,000 of whom 23.6 percent were under 18.  Which means that a substantial percentage of people eligible to vote [(193000/(515000*(.764))= (19300/393000)], did.  

    One should not be so quick to write off Wyoming as an un-gettable Red state.  Trauner almost won it on shoe-leather and not a lot of money.  It strikes me as a place where someone with a good ground game could do well.

    Wyoming will matter only if its an upset (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by BDB on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:47:26 PM EST
    Right now the problem is neither candidate has shown he or she can win on the others' turf.  So if Clinton wins Wyoming it would be a breakthrough.  A much smaller and less important breakthrough than a win in Pennsylvania by Obama, but still a breakthrough.  

    I don't expect it will happen though.  

    I would think Wyoming would be news... (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 03:00:28 PM EST
    ... if Hillary manages to win there, since Obama has won most similar states. And even a handful of delegates does help. A modest win by Obama would pretty much maintain the status quo of the campaign, though.

    Democracy scares people (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Joike on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 03:46:13 PM EST
    I was just reading a post over at Balkinization by Sandy Levinson.


    in which Sandy discusses the two different election models used by the parties.

    Sandy says "My own view is that the Democrats' system is more democratic precisely because it doesn't allow for the possibility that the person rejected by a quite substantial majority will 'win' simply by coming in first."

    My first thought was that it fits that Republicans would be less democratic.

    Conservatives generally strike me as being more willing to submit to authority and wanting more certainty, less able to adapt to change.

    Look at the MSM, they'll consider it some huge failure if we can't figure out the nominee prior to the convention as if a close race that goes down to wire is the product of a failed system or a failed party.

    They'll love stoking the flames of conflict all the while crying crocodile tears for the "confusion" and "split" in the party.  More than anything, they want to be able to call the race for someone to move on to the next race and call that one too.

    Then I reflected on my own feelings on this race and the many posts in the liberal blogs that, more than anything, want the race to end.

    We want to know who will win so we can get on with it.  Maybe liberals aren't that comfortable with uncertainty either.

    That uncertainty is exactly what makes democracy so dangerous to authoritarians.  That unknown quality.  That decentralization of power.

    Millions of individuals operating on different bits of information with different levels of engagement will eventually reach a very important decision.  Why this process is deemed frustrating or somehow broken, perhaps reflects more on our own need for security over liberty than any problem with democracy.

    I do hope that our party can address the very real short-comings of the nomination process.  I would like to see it be more inclusive giving more people an opportunity to participate, getting rid of some of the arcane rules and giving different states a chance to go first, but I would hate it if we adopted the GOP's "winner take all" structure just for the sake of getting a nominee sooner.

    A marathon gives more voters a voice and allows more time to focus on the candidates' positions.  The idea of deciding on a candidate after only a handful of contests may settle the issue, but it also silences a lot of voters.

    Uncertainty isn't a four letter word.

    "Equality State" (none / 0) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:15:31 PM EST
    the "kitchen sink" meme might go over well there.
    is it just me? it always seemed that if I was a woman that would be a pretty offensive thing to lay on a woman like Hillary.
    maybe it just me.

    I'm not a woman (none / 0) (#6)
    by reynwrap582 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:27:51 PM EST
    But I winced at the kitchen sink thing.  Even if it wasn't -meant- to be sexist, it's a careless thing to say.

    You realize it was a Clinton Aide (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by fuzzyone on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:35:36 PM EST
    who used the phrase kitchen sink to describe the strategy?

    doesnt mean its not stupid (none / 0) (#20)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:39:50 PM EST
    and the MSM giddily glommed on to it.

    MSM (none / 0) (#21)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:40:24 PM EST
    is really who I was criticizing here not the Obama campaign.

    So the media is sexist (none / 0) (#40)
    by fuzzyone on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 06:26:58 PM EST
    for repeating something that Hillary's campaign said.  There really is no limit to the silliness. This is right up there with the dark video controversy.  Both sides have gone over the top and down the other side.

    I don't find it offensive (none / 0) (#31)
    by echinopsia on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 03:34:16 PM EST
    And you don't get much feminist than I am.

    Etymology: based on the idea that if you brought many things to someone, a kitchen sink is one of the last things you would bring because it is difficult to move

    My favorite pizza place offers a "kitchen sink" pizza. It's got everything.


    yeah (none / 0) (#11)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:33:04 PM EST
    even if they were going to use condescending language about Obama, which of course they wouldnt, its hard to imagine them using exactly those words.

    Maybe better to hit them with (none / 0) (#10)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:32:37 PM EST
    the kitchen table - you know, the place where a lot of families spread out the bills and the checkbook and try to figure out what to pay and what to postpone.

    I think Hillary's pretty good at that, but that's just my own opinion.


    I'm a woman (none / 0) (#12)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:33:12 PM EST
    and it's such a common saying that it didn't bother me....

    Should I be outraged?  Hope not.  I already have outrage fatigue.


    pssst... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:34:38 PM EST
    think "kitchen sink" phrasing came from Clinton camp...



    Phew, thank you ;-). (none / 0) (#18)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:38:24 PM EST
    Having it said once or twice didn't bother me... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:35:47 PM EST
    ...but I did find it a wee sexist how it was seized upon and repeated over and over again. I don't know that's just how it hit me, but I admit I could be overly sensitive at this point.

    The media (none / 0) (#37)
    by Arbitrarity on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:10:07 PM EST
    Is hardly known for its originality.

    You can hate them all you want, but I think this instance is a little bit of a stretch.


    That supposed sink is made of goose down, (none / 0) (#22)
    by Salt on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:40:34 PM EST
    if you cant take even mild temperature increase running for President is not your thing, get out of the kitchen your just making your guy look weak that card lost it luster several States ago.

    little hard to follow (none / 0) (#27)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:49:13 PM EST
    my "guy" is Hillary and I was just commenting on the glee with which the MSM seems to use the word "sink" in the same sentence with name of any powerful woman.
    but if the women are not bothered, what do I know.

    What's (none / 0) (#33)
    by tek on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 03:39:26 PM EST
    offensive is Obama blaming Hillary's Clinton "kitchen sink" attacks for his losses.  I'm so sick of him always trying to frame her as a vicious, negative campaigner.  He's the one with the dirty tricks.  His lies are what account for his losses.

    Wonder if the "medical parole" (none / 0) (#2)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:18:11 PM EST
    also includes some kind of help with medical care????

    Otherwise, it seems like a matter of throwing them out and letting them die.

    how frontier (none / 0) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:21:17 PM EST
    of them

    Candidates will be scrapping for every vote and (none / 0) (#5)
    by Joike on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:24:37 PM EST
    potential delegate.

    Makes me wish the GE was like that so candidates would have an incentive to campaign across all 50 states.

    Will McCain care about NY, Hawaii and Illinois in the GE?

    Will Clinton or Obama care about SC, Wyoming or Texas in the GE?

    Plus, why should swing voters (ie people too lazy to figure out what they want) in Ohio have their votes magnified while voters in solidly blue or red states have their votes minimized?

    "Plus, why should swing voters... (none / 0) (#38)
    by tree on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:24:20 PM EST
    ... in Ohio have their votes magnified while voters in solidly blue or red states have their votes minimized?"

    It's the fault of the damn Electoral College.


    Wyoming (none / 0) (#8)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:29:31 PM EST
    I believe, has a horrible record on how they treat intersexual and transgendered inmates.  I don't have details of the case, but I believe a TG mutilated herself, cutting off most of her genitalia, and they still refused to allow her to take hormone replacement therapy.

    There was a case about that (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by spit on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:37:55 PM EST
    a few years ago, IIRC. I'll try to find it.

    Unfortunately, that's not really just a WY problem, but a far reaching one. So far as I'm aware, prisons only have to give hormones if they were prescribed before incarceration, and even then there are constantly real-life problems getting them. I'm no expert on the legal stuff at all, but I consider myself trans and pay a lot of attention to trans issues, and dealing with a lot of aspects of the prison system has been a huge problem in a lot of places.


    On the larger issue (none / 0) (#24)
    by spit on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:43:18 PM EST
    I'm a little ashamed I hadn't heard of this documentary, honestly. It's from 2006. I volunteer at a friggin' queer library, so I'm not sure how I missed it. Regardless, sounds interesting and is about the treatment of TG prisoners, specifically MTFs incarcerated in men's prisons.

    We're terribly off topic, I suppose, but thought you might be interested. Apologies to all.


    thank you! (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 03:11:53 PM EST
    sorry this is so off-topic, but that's the doc I have been searching for to post the link.  It is disgustingly inhumane how intersexual and transgendered people are being marginalized and criminalized.   And it's stupid to boot, because it's much cheaper to just give them the hormones they need rather than pay for hearings and court cases and...ugh.  People are so sadistically stupid sometimes.

    Going to bookmark that (none / 0) (#42)
    by Kitt on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 01:03:48 AM EST
    Pass it along to some folks as well.

    Here we go (none / 0) (#30)
    by spit on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 03:14:37 PM EST
    it was 2004, if we're thinking of the same thing. I'd not realized she was intersex.

    it's just possible, given (none / 0) (#26)
    by cpinva on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:48:39 PM EST
    another 100 years, that wyoming might just go............purple. probably not. for the GE, this is a "don't waste scarce allocable resources" state for the dem. nominee. with all due respect to the registered dems in wyoming, the party has bigger fish to fry elsewhere.

    i feel certain the good folks of wyoming will understand.

    This (none / 0) (#32)
    by tek on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 03:36:05 PM EST
    matters for appearances, the race is so close.

    Shift (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:08:27 PM EST
    I think it matters for appearance also.  She's expected to loose.  If she can do better than expected in any demographic it would help.  Over at MYDD there are stats that show she's moved up in independents.  If she could show a movement in to a category that Obama has been getting, it would be positive even with a loss.

    I'm going to call it for Clinton! (none / 0) (#34)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 03:42:12 PM EST
    Yeah, yeah, I know, but I've been wrong before and I will very well be wrong again, but I put down some moolah on inTrade on it, so if I'm wrong, at least I'll be rich! (just don't start calling me Bush)

    I'd like to be optimistic but... (none / 0) (#43)
    by Rainsong on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 04:43:04 AM EST
    ..Obama has organised a largeish free rally in the capital, and several offices in the larger towns.

    Hillary did send Bill and Chelsea over earlier in the week though, with Bill doing a few events, Chelsea at a small community college. Out with the cows for the Clintons. She put out a radio ad as well on health care. Bill's then off to Mississippi.

    But, she might split it to draw with BO, who knows?


    IN CASPER YEAH! (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:51:05 PM EST
    How come my other wishes don't come true?  I wasn't even wearing my ruby slippers either, just my night night slippers.  Wyoming always has a Democrat for a governor, it's the way they do things up there and don't ask why just do as your told because we've noticed things tend to work better when we put a Democrat in that office.  When I was twelve the governor was Hershler and he used to have a Hershler sticker he put on top of the Hershey candy bars and handed out to the kids.  I went to school with his grandkids so I got to see him some and he always had a candy bar ;)  On election night I used to celebrate our Democratic governor with all the other Democrats and the Republicans at the bar would all laugh at us because we didn't have anything that they didn't give us.  What a bunch of schmoes though because I was at the Brass Banjo one night celebrating our NEW Democratic governor (whew, that was kind of scary) and Dick Cheney walked in with all of his flunkies after being reelected and didn't say boo to anyone in the room.  He owed them nothing, the people of the state were just as pathetic to him after the election as they were before the election and he had a special room reserved that he and his "important" people were retiring to.  So all of us Democrats pointed at the worth than less Republican supporters and finally got to have a laugh out loud at them and we did my friends, we did.

    Hmm-hm (none / 0) (#41)
    by Kitt on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 01:02:05 AM EST
    We had 23 delegates at stake. We had 44 caucuses across the state, one in each county - the first time in the history of the democratic party in Idaho that has happened, and Hillary never showed up -
    Obama showed up ..... - and she's going to Wyoming?  Cheney is from Wyoming. Their congressional delegation is all Republicans. Of course, the governor is Democratic.