Posted: January 5, 2008 11:02 PM
Romney Wins in Largely Overlooked Wyoming Caucuses
Despite little media attention and few candidate visits, Wyoming Republicans voted overwhelmingly to back the candidacy of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney Saturday.
In its uniquely county-based caucuses, the state party awarded eight of the 12 possible delegates to Romney. Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson came in a distant second, garnering three delegates and long-shot Congressman Duncan Hunter scored a single delegate.
“The voters participating in today’s county conventions made it clear that the Reagan coalition of fiscal conservatives, social conservatives and defense conservatives is alive and well in the West. In the coming weeks, I will work hard to share my optimistic vision for our country’s future with voters as ballots are cast in New Hampshire and beyond,” Romney, who was campaigning in New Hampshire, said in a statement.
Delegates were selected in individual county conventions and, according to analysts, served more as a presidential preference than an official candidate selection.
For those delegates attending the conventions, Romney’s decision to visit the state in person helped sway them.
Romney visited Wyoming in August and November and three of his five sons campaigned in the state. One son, Josh Romney, owns a ranch in southwest Wyoming.
“Number one, he campaigned here,” delegate Leigh Vosler of Cheyenne told the Associated Press. “I think that helped while some other candidates ignored us. But also he’s the right person for the job.”
Wyoming paid a heavy price for moving its county conventions earlier in the primary calendar, with the national party stripping the state of half of their normal slots to the national convention.
Romney pledged to try and reinstate those delegates ahead of the convention in September.
Despite the good news in Wyoming, the Romney campaign, still smarting from a second place finish in Iowa, received another dose of bad news Saturday when a new poll out of WMUR television and CNN put Romney a distant second to Arizona Sen. John McCain ahead of Tuesday’s critical primary in the Granite State.