Democrats outnumber Republicans in precisely zero of Wyoming's 23 counties
Only 20% of registered voters identify as Democrats
Are you a Democrat in Wyoming? Congratulations, this Saturday’s presidential county caucuses are part of your once-every-four-years moment in the sun.
The rest of the moments are pretty dark.
Democrats outnumber Republicans in precisely zero of Wyoming’s 23 counties. Only 20% of registered voters identify as such.
So it’s got to be tough to run the state party, even from – by Wyoming standards – a liberal stronghold like Laramie.
“I’d say the biggest challenge is making people believe that we have a chance,” said Aimee Van Cleave, the executive director of the Wyoming Democratic Party.
Given the disproportionate number of Republicans in the state legislature – 77 out of 90 members – one would expect elected Democrats to work with their Republican counterparts. But that’s getting more difficult, according to Van Cleave.
“Within the majority party, we’ve seen in the past couple of years a trend for moderates who tend to work with us to be targeted by their own party and replaced by more conservative versions of themselves,” she said.
Pete Gosar, the former executive director of the state Democratic party, ran for governor in 2014.
He lost by 32 points.
“You immediately face 2-to-1 odds against you or maybe a little bit bigger than that,” Gosar said. “It’s tough to get money and to raise the type of funds available to be competitive.”
Gosar is now the chairman of the Wyoming Department of Education. His older brother, Paul Gosar, is an anti-abortion rights, anti-amnesty, National Rifle Association-endorsed Republican congressman from Arizona.
“We agree to disagree, but he is a good man,” the elder Gosar brother said in a statement after his younger brother announced his run for governor in 2014.