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Mon June 30, 2008
An Uphill Battle for Wyoming Democrats This Election Season
By Peter O'Dowd
Laramie, WY – The four Democratic candidates challenging Wyoming Republican U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso must beat serious challenges in order to unseat the incumbents. The last time a Democrat beat a Republican incumbent for a Wyoming Congressional seat was in 1958.
There are three factors when looking at a candidate's likelihood of winning, explained political scientist Jim King.
"[The factors are] personal popularity, partisan environment of the constituency, and fundraising. All three of those things line up in favor of Enzi and Barrasso," King said.
Polls from last winter show Enzi's approval rating at 70 percent. Barrasso's approval ratings were 55 percent, after only a few months serving in Washington.
Registered Republicans are more numerous in Wyoming by more than a two to one ratio. There are 137,000 registered Republicans in the state, compared to 60,000 registered Democrats.
The Center for Responsive Politics reported that both Enzi and Barrasso have about $1.5 million in campaign funds, compared to $30,000 raised by the closest Democratic challenger, Nick Carter.