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2014 United States Senate election in Wyoming

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States Senate election in Wyoming, 2014

← 2008 November 4, 2014 (2014-11-04) 2020 →
Mike Enzi 113th Congress.jpg
No image.svg
No image.svg
Nominee Mike Enzi Charlie Hardy Curt Gottshall
Party Republican Democratic Independent
Popular vote 121,554 29,377 13,311
Percentage 72.2% 17.4% 7.9%

Wyoming Senate Election Results by County, 2014.svg
County Results
Enzi:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%

U.S. Senator before election

Mike Enzi

Elected U.S. Senator

Mike Enzi

The 2014 United States Senate election in Wyoming took place on November 4, 2014, to elect a member of the United States Senate for the State of Wyoming. Incumbent Republican senator Mike Enzi won re-election to a fourth term in office. Enzi held Democratic nominee Charlie Hardy to just 17.5 percent of the vote – the lowest percentage of the vote for any major party nominee in Wyoming U.S. Senate electoral history out of the 39 races conducted during the direct election era.[1]

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  • ✪ Congressional Elections: Crash Course Government and Politics #6
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Hi, I'm Craig and this is Crash Course Government and Politics, and today we're going to talk about what is, if you ask the general public, the most important part of politics: elections. If you ask me, it's hair styles. Look at Martin Van Buren's sideburns, how could he not be elected? Americans are kind of obsessed with elections, I mean when this was being recorded in early 2015, television, news and the internet were already talking about who would be Democrat and Republican candidates for president in 2016. And many of the candidates have unofficially been campaigning for years. I've been campaigning; your grandma's been campaigning. Presidential elections are exciting and you can gamble on them. Is that legal, can you gamble on them, Stan? Anyway, why we're so obsessed with them is a topic for another day. Right now I'm gonna tell you that the fixation on the presidential elections is wrong, but not because the president doesn't matter. No, today we're gonna look at the elections of the people that are supposed to matter the most, Congress. Constitutionally at least, Congress is the most important branch of government because it is the one that is supposed to be the most responsive to the people. One of the main reasons it's so responsive, at least in theory, is the frequency of elections. If a politician has to run for office often, he or she, because unlike the president we have women serving in Congress, kind of has to pay attention to what the constituents want, a little bit, maybe. By now, I'm sure that most of you have memorized the Constitution, so you recognize that despite their importance in the way we discuss politics, elections aren't really a big feature of the Constitution. Except of course for the ridiculously complex electoral college system for choosing the president, which we don't even want to think about for a few episodes. In fact, here's what the Constitution says about Congressional Elections in Article 1 Section 2: "The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature." So the Constitution does establish that the whole of the house is up for election every 2 years, and 1/3 of the senate is too, but mainly it leaves the scheduling and rules of elections up to the states. The actual rules of elections, like when the polls are open and where they actually are, as well as the registration requirements, are pretty much up to the states, subject to some federal election law. If you really want to know the rules in your state, I'm sure that someone at the Board of Elections, will be happy to explain them to you. Really, you should give them a call; they're very, very lonely. In general though, here's what we can say about American elections. First stating the super obvious, in order to serve in congress, you need to win an election. In the House of Representatives, each election district chooses a single representative, which is why we call them single-member districts. The number of districts is determined by the Census, which happens every 10 years, and which means that elections ending in zeros are super important, for reasons that I'll explain in greater detail in a future episode. It's because of gerrymandering. The Senate is much easier to figure out because both of the state Senators are elected by the entire state. It's as if the state itself were a single district, which is true for states like Wyoming, which are so unpopulated as to have only 1 representative. Sometimes these elections are called at large elections. Before the election ever happens, you need candidates. How candidates are chosen differs from state to state, but usually it has something to do with political parties, although it doesn't have to. Why are things so complicated?! What we can say is that candidates, or at least good candidates, usually have certain characteristics. Sorry America. First off, if you are gonna run for office, you should have an unblemished record, free of, oh I don't know, felony convictions or sex scandals, except maybe in Louisiana or New York. This might lead to some pretty bland candidates or people who are so calculating that they have no skeletons in their closet, but we Americans are a moral people and like our candidates to reflect our ideals rather than our reality. The second characteristic that a candidate must possess is the ability to raise money. Now some candidates are billionaires and can finance their own campaigns. But most billionaires have better things to do: buying yachts, making even more money, building money forts, buying more yachts, so they don't have time to run for office. But most candidates get their money for their campaigns by asking for it. The ability to raise money is key, especially now, because running for office is expensive. Can I get a how expensive is it? "How expensive is it?!" Well, so expensive that the prices of elections continually rises and in 2012 winners of House races spent nearly 2 million each. Senate winners spent more than 10 million. By the time this episode airs, I'm sure the numbers will be much higher like a gajillion billion million. Money is important in winning an election, but even more important, statistically, is already being in Congress. Let's go to the Thought Bubble. The person holding an office who runs for that office again is called the incumbent and has a big advantage over any challenger. This is according to political scientists who, being almost as bad at naming things as historians, refer to this as incumbency advantage. There are a number of reasons why incumbents tend to hold onto their seats in congress, if they want to. The first is that a sitting congressman has a record to run on, which we hope includes some legislative accomplishments, although for the past few Congresses, these don't seem to matter. The record might include case work, which is providing direct services to constituents. This is usually done by congressional staffers and includes things like answering questions about how to get certain government benefits or writing recommendation letters to West Point. Congressmen can also provide jobs to constituents, which is usually a good way to get them to vote for you. These are either government jobs, kind of rare these days, called patronage or indirect employment through government contracts for programs within a Congressman's district. These programs are called earmarks or pork barrel programs, and they are much less common now because Congress has decided not to use them any more, sort of. The second advantage that incumbents have is that they have a record of winning elections, which if you think about it, is pretty obvious. Being a proven winner makes it easier for a congressmen to raise money, which helps them win, and long term incumbents tend to be more powerful in Congress which makes it even easier for them to raise money and win. The Constitution give incumbents one structural advantage too. Each elected congressman is allowed $100,000 and free postage to send out election materials. This is called the franking privilege. It's not so clear how great an advantage this is in the age of the internet, but at least according to the book The Victory Lab, direct mail from candidates can be surprisingly effective. How real is this incumbency advantage? Well if you look at the numbers, it seems pretty darn real. Over the past 60 years, almost 90% of members of The House of Representatives got re-elected. The Senate has been even more volatile, but even at the low point in 1980 more than 50% of sitting senators got to keep their jobs. Thanks, Thought Bubble. You're so great. So those are some of the features of congressional elections. Now, if you'll permit me to get a little politically sciencey, I'd like to try to explain why elections are so important to the way that Congressmen and Senators do their jobs. In 1974, political scientist David Mayhew published a book in which he described something he called "The Electoral Connection." This was the idea that Congressmen were primarily motivated by the desire to get re-elected, which intuitively makes a lot of sense, even though I'm not sure what evidence he had for this conclusion. Used to be able to get away with that kind of thing I guess, clearly David may-not-hew to the rules of evidence, pun [rim shot], high five, no. Anyway Mayhew's research methodology isn't as important as his idea itself because The Electoral Connection provides a frame work for understanding congressman's activities. Mayhew divided representatives' behaviors and activities into three categories. The first is advertising; congressmen work to develop their personal brand so that they are recognizable to voters. Al D'Amato used to be know in New York as Senator Pothole, because he was able to bring home so much pork that he could actually fix New York's streets. Not by filling them with pork, money, its money, remember pork barrel spending? The second activity is credit claiming; Congressmen get things done so that they can say they got them done. A lot of case work and especially pork barrel spending are done in the name of credit claiming. Related to credit claiming, but slightly different, is position taking. This means making a public judgmental statement on something likely to be of interest to voters. Senators can do this through filibusters. Representatives can't filibuster, but they can hold hearings, publicly supporting a hearing is a way of associating yourself with an idea without having to actually try to pass legislation. And of course they can go on the TV, especially on Sunday talk shows. What's a TV, who even watches TV? Now the idea of The Electoral Connection doesn't explain every action a member of Congress takes; sometimes they actually make laws to benefit the public good or maybe solve problems, huh, what an idea! But Mayhew's idea gives us a way of thinking about Congressional activity, an analytical lens that connects what Congressmen actually do with how most of us understand Congressmen, through elections. So the next time you see a Congressmen call for a hearing on a supposed horrible scandal or read about a Senator threatening to filibuster a policy that may have significant popular support, ask yourself, "Is this Representative claiming credit or taking a position, and how will this build their brand?" In other words: what's the electoral connection and how will whatever they're doing help them get elected? This might feel a little cynical, but the reality is Mayhew's thesis often seems to fit with today's politics. Thanks for watching, see you next week. Vote for me; I'm on the TV. I'm not -- I'm on the YouTube. Crash Course: Government and Politics is produced in association with PBS Digital Studios. Support for Crash Course US Government comes from Voqal. Voqal supports nonprofits that use technology and media to advance social equity. Learn more about their mission and initiatives at Crash Course is made by all of these nice people. Thanks for watching. That guy isn't nice.


Republican primary

No incumbent Wyoming Republican senator running for re-election in the direct vote era has failed to win their party's nomination.[2]



  • Thomas Bleming, former mercenary and candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2012[3][4]
  • Arthur Bruce Clifton, oil company worker[5][6]
  • Mike Enzi, incumbent senator[7]
  • James "Coaltrain" Gregory[5]
  • Bryan E. Miller, retired air force officer and energy consultant[5]




Mike Enzi
Liz Cheney



Results by county:   Enzi—80–90%   Enzi—70–80%
Results by county:
Republican primary results[22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Enzi 77,965 78.51%
Republican Bryan E. Miller 9,330 9.39%
Republican James "Coaltrain" Gregory 3,740 3.77%
Republican Thomas Bleming 2,504 2.52%
Republican Arthur Bruce Clifton 1,403 1.41%
Republican Write-in 346 0.35%
Republican Over Votes 51 0.05%
Republican Under Votes 3,973 4.00%
Total votes 99,312 100.00%

Democratic primary



  • William Bryk, attorney from New York and perennial candidate[5]
  • Charlie Hardy, retired priest and candidate for Congress in 2012[23]
  • Al Hamburg, retired house painter, veteran and perennial candidate[5][24][25]
  • Rex Wilde, contracting company employee and candidate for governor in 2010[26]



Results by county:   Hardy—50–60%   Hardy—40–50%   Hardy—<40%   Wilde—40–50%
Results by county:
Democratic primary results[22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Charlie Hardy 7,200 39.33%
Democratic Rex Wilde 3,012 16.46%
Democratic Al Hamburg 2,988 16.32%
Democratic William Bryk 1,670 9.12%
Democratic Write-in 216 1.18%
Democratic Over Votes 31 0.17%
Democratic Under Votes 3,189 17.42%
Total votes 18,306 100.00%

Independents and Third Parties



General election


Source Ranking As of
The Cook Political Report[31] Solid R November 3, 2014
Sabato's Crystal Ball[32] Safe R November 3, 2014
Rothenberg Political Report[33] Safe R November 3, 2014
Real Clear Politics[34] Safe R November 3, 2014


Poll source Date(s)
Margin of
Enzi (R)
Hardy (D)
Other Undecided
CBS News/NYT/YouGov July 5–24, 2014 419 ± 5.1% 66% 23% 5% 7%
Rasmussen Reports August 20–21, 2014 700 ± 4% 63% 27% 4% 5%
CBS News/NYT/YouGov August 18 – September 2, 2014 350 ± 8% 66% 21% 4% 8%
CBS News/NYT/YouGov September 20 – October 1, 2014 264 ± 7% 75% 17% 2% 6%
CBS News/NYT/YouGov October 16–23, 2014 258 ± 11% 67% 27% 0% 6%


United States Senate election in Wyoming, 2014[35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Mike Enzi (incumbent) 121,554 72.19% -3.44%
Democratic Charlie Hardy 29,377 17.45% -6.81%
Independent Curt Gottshall 13,311 7.90% N/A
Libertarian Joseph Porambo 3,677 2.18% N/A
n/a Write-ins 471 0.28% +0.17%
Total votes 168,390 100.0% N/A
Republican hold

See also


  1. ^ Ostermeier, Eric (November 10, 2014). "Rock Bottom: Democrats Hit Multiple Low Water Marks in US Senate Elections". Smart Politics.
  2. ^ Ostermeier, Eric (July 9, 2013). "Could Liz Cheney End Wyoming's GOP Incumbency Streak?". Smart Politics.
  3. ^ "Bleming Announces Another Run for Wyoming U.S. Senate Seat". Kitsap Sun. May 17, 2013. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  4. ^ "Ex-Mercenary Running for Wyo. Senate Seat has 'Psychopath' in Crosshairs". US News & World Report. June 28, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e "2014 Primary Candidate Roster" (PDF). Wyoming Secretary of State. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  6. ^ "Arizona man the only Democratic challenger to Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummi". Casper Star-Tribune. May 30, 2014. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  7. ^ Reilly, Mollie (July 16, 2013). "Mike Enzi Will Seek Reelection In 2014 Senate Race". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  8. ^ Martin, Jonathan (January 6, 2014). "Liz Cheney Quits Wyoming Senate Race". New York Times. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  9. ^ "The Senate 2014- State of the Races, Part 2". May 31, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  10. ^ a b c Zeleny, Jeff (July 16, 2013). "Liz Cheney Jumps Into Wyoming Senate Race Against Mike Enzi". ABC News. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d e Everett, Burgess (July 28, 2013). "GOP Senators to Liz Cheney: We Like Mike Enzi". Politico. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  12. ^ a b "McCain supports Mike Enzi in race over Liz Cheney". July 21, 2013. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  13. ^ Burns, Alexander (July 11, 2013). "Rand Paul: I've got Mike Enzi's back vs. Liz Cheney". Politico. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  14. ^ Gizzi, John (July 23, 2013). "Rand Paul Delivers Payback to Cheneys". Newsmax. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  15. ^ Everett, Burgess (July 22, 2013). "Olympia Snowe: Liz Cheney challenge to Mike Enzi 'unfortunate'". Politico. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
  16. ^ "Twitter / HeyTammyBruce: I'm thrilled w @Liz_Cheney's". July 16, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  17. ^ "There Are No Indispensable Men". RedState. July 16, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  18. ^ "Sean Hannity Endorses Liz Cheney For Senate". Huffington Post. July 19, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  19. ^ Spiering, Charlie (July 22, 2013). "Conservative talk radio lining up behind Liz Cheney". Washington Examiner. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  20. ^ Gold, Hadas (July 22, 2013). "Rush Limbaugh lines up with Liz Cheney". Politico. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  21. ^ Hohmann, James; Burns, Alexander; Raju, Manu (July 16, 2013). "Liz Cheney announces Senate bid". Politico. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  22. ^ a b "2014 Official Primary Election results" (PDF). Wyoming Secretary of State. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  23. ^ Roerink, Kyle (January 21, 2014). "Mike Enzi has new opponent: Democrat and former Catholic priest Charlie Hardy". Casper Star-Tribune. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  24. ^ Laura Hancock (June 1, 2014). "Felon, out-of-staters among candidates who filed to run for office". Casper Star-Tribune. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  25. ^ Trevor Brown (May 25, 2014). "Controversial candidate bids for U.S. Senate seat". Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  26. ^ Roerink, Kyle (January 22, 2014). "Second Democrat enters race against Wyoming U.S. Sen. Enzi". Casper Star-Tribune. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  27. ^ a b c "Cheney Challenge Could Open Door to Dems in Wyoming". Newsmax. July 16, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  28. ^ Edwards-Levy, Ariel (July 23, 2013). "Liz Cheney Trails Mike Enzi In Wyoming Senate Race: Poll". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
  29. ^ Trevor Brown (April 3, 2014). "Laramie pilot is making independent Senate run". Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  30. ^ Trevor Brown (April 9, 2014). "Casper cook seeks U.S. Senate seat". Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  31. ^ "2014 Senate Race Ratings for November 3, 2014". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  32. ^ "The Crystal Ball's Final 2014 Picks". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  33. ^ "2014 Senate Ratings". Senate Ratings. The Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  34. ^ "2014 Elections Map - Battle for the Senate 2014". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  35. ^ "Statewide Candidates Official Summary Wyoming General Election - November 4, 2014" (PDF). Wyoming Secretary of State. Retrieved November 16, 2014.

External links

Official campaign websites

This page was last edited on 6 May 2019, at 01:56
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