Around the U.S. in 50 Days: Idaho and Wyoming
Why two states in one day? Two reasons: both are no-brainers and some states like California, Texas and Illinois might require a two day analysis.
So, this will be a fairly quick entry that involves two Republican strongholds. In Idaho, only the two incumbent Congressmen are up for re-election. They are Raul Labrador (what? A Hispanic Republican?) and Mike Simpson. Redistricting has not greatly affected Idaho. They gain no seats, but shifts of population within the state necessitate that more of Ada County, which includes Boise, be placed in Simpson’s 2nd District. Even still, this should have little effect.
In the 1st District, Labrador will likely face Democratic nominee and former NFL receiver, Jim Farris. Farris’ website bills him as a former NFL star although how having a 6-year career spread over four teams qualifies one for “star” status begs the question and makes one think of the Walter Mitty effect. Labrador won an upset victory in 2010 over a stronger incumbent in Walt Minnick who was a conservative (for them) Democrat. Since Minnick was a more formidable opponent than Farris will ever be and Labrador should be re-elected by a comfortable margin. If he can defeat an established incumbent, he will win against a novice. Meanwhile, in the 2nd District, Simpson seeks re-election. Considering that there is no opponent at this point, Simpson’s incumbency and fund raising abilities should create no problems.
In Wyoming, there are actually two statewide elections- Senate and the at-large House seat. At the current time, GOP incumbent Senator Tom Barrasso faces no competition. The only viable Democrat mentioned thus far is former Governor Dave Freudenthal, ironically the man who originally appointed Barrasso to a vacancy in the Senate. He won the subsequent special election for a full term and has not looked back since. In fact, preliminary polling of a hypothetical Barrasso-Freudenthal match up shows Barrasso winning handily. Perhaps, that is why no Democrat has entered the race. To win here, any Democrat would have to be a DINO and Freudethal fits that bill and would still lose.
For the House seat, incumbent Republican Cynthia Lummis (what’s this? A woman Republican?) currently faces no opposition. Even if there was a Democrat out there to challenge her, they would simply be the sacrificial lamb. The lack of viable Democrats is only illustrative of the fact that Wyoming represents no opportunities for the Democratic Party.