Not one 2016 Wyoming caucus poll is available heading into the state’s elections on Saturday, but because of its unique position, the state’s elections are still getting attention from Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
After winning Wisconsin’s primary on Tuesday, Bernie is walking into the Wyoming caucus having come out ahead of Hillary in six of the last seven primaries. As the race comes to a close, that momentum is essential for Sanders to have a strong showing in the remaining states — especially delegate-rich New York, California, and Pennsylvania, where he is still trailing her in the polls.
Wyoming’s 2016 caucus likely has no polls available because of its comparatively insignificant number of delegates. The state boasts just 18 representatives, four of whom are super delegates. New York, which will be the next state to vote on April 19, has nearly 300.
Despite no official data to guess the results of the Wyoming caucus, polls in previous states may indicate how Bernie and Hillary might fare. Sanders has typically done better in states that are majority white, which Wyoming is, and has won nearly all of the nation’s caucuses up to this point. Both of these factors indicate that Bernie could easily come out ahead, though it’s still hard to tell without any concrete polling.
Those paltry delegates for Wyoming Democrats exist because so few of the state’s left-learning citizens head to the polls. Only 20 percent of the state’s registered voters are Democrats, and 77 out of 90 state legislature representatives are Republicans. Liberals who do choose to run face 2-1 odds in their GOP opponent’s favor, former state Democratic party executive director Pete Gosar told CNN.
“Maybe a little bit bigger than that. It’s tough to get money and to raise the type of funds available to be competitive.”
Because of that, it’s almost sure that Wyoming will go red in the 2016 general election. That means whether Bernie or Clinton reigns victorious in the caucus, the eventual nominee will suffer in the state once they are faced with a Republican in the general election. Wyoming hasn’t gone Democrat since 1964.
As that’s the case, Sanders and Hillary’s campaigns are paying more attention to Wyoming right now than they probably will in the rest of 2016. Bernie stopped by the state university in Laramie on Tuesday. Busy with other obligations, Hillary sent her husband Bill Clinton in her place — perhaps showing that she would prefer to lock-up big prizes like New York and California rather than tussle over small ones like the Wyoming caucus.
As Hillary and Sanders supporters saw in Nevada last weekend, the caucus process is a long and complex. While Wyoming Democrats head to the polls on Saturday, delegates won’t be officially tied to the candidates for almost two months, according to Casper Star Tribune.
“The presidential preference vote determines the allocation of 14 of the state party’s national convention delegates in the presidential race. The 14 delegates themselves won’t be selected until the state convention May 28 in Cheyenne but they will be allocated to specific presidential candidates based on the statewide caucus voting. Wyoming sends a total of 18 delegates who will cast votes for presidential candidates at the national convention in July. The other four are two party leaders and two national committee members, who are allowed to vote independently for the candidate for their choice.”
Accounting for the lack of 2016 Wyoming caucus polls, do you think the state’s Democratic delegates are more likely to go to Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton?
[Image via Matthew Brown/AP Images]