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Saturday, January 5, 2008
By Steven L. Taylor

The Republicans have a caucus today in Wyoming (yes, Wyoming). At stake are actually more delegates (14)1 than are up for grabs in New Hampshire (12). That factoid alone should indicate the manner in which media coverage inflates (or deflates) the significance of a specific event.2 The Democrats do not have their Wyoming contest until March 8th.

The candidates have certainly noticed, and contributed to, the lack of attention in Wyoming. As the Wyoming Business Report noted yesterday:

Only four presidential hopefuls-Romney, Thompson, Paul and Hunter-have visited since September.

Indeed, the coverage is so pathetic that one cannot find the word “Wyoming” on the politics front-pages of either the NYT or WaPo. Some hunting will reveal a LAT piece from yesterday: Wyoming — the other caucuses and USAT also has a piece: Wyo. caucuses approach without fanfare. CNN only has a pointer to a Time article. Perhaps the most comprehensive piece (such as it is) can be found at NRO’s Campaign Spot.

All of this is, of course, further evidence of the broken nature of the nomination process that we employ in the US, as it is clear that not all voters are treated the same by the process (meaning it has substantial undemocratic aspects). Additionally the approach by both the media and the candidates is illogical (with the behavior of each groups reinforcing the behavior of the other): if the goal is to win an absolute majority of the delegate, it makes more sense to concentrate on Wyoming than on NH for Republicans, yet Wyoming is ignored. But, of course, the media tends to cover the nomination process in the early stages every year as if delegates weren’t the issue-they focus instead on wins and loses only, ignoring that some wins are more numerically important than others.

  1. And the state lost half its delegates because it moved its contest up on the calendar. The NYT delegate count for WY indicates 28, as did this post briefly, but that number is pre-penalty. []
  2. For those keeping score at home, the GOP had 40 delegates available in IA. []
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2 Responses to “It’s Wyoming Time!”

  1. Political Mavens » Oh, Yeah… Says:

    [...] Wyoming. [...]

  2. Appalachian Scribe » Romney Wins Wyoming Says:

    [...] Hampshire primary. But I suppose NH is an institution, and old institutions die hard. Posted at 5:53 pm in Category: American Politics, ’08 Elections | postCount(’2650′); |postCountTB(’2650′); [...]


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