Monday, October 16, 2006

Wyoming U.S. Senate Race

Race of the Day

October 16, 2006
22 Days Until Election Day

Wyoming U.S. Senate

Status: Republican Incumbent
2004 Presidential Result: Red State (West)

Outlook: Safe Republican

Our extensive tour through every Gubernatorial and U.S. Senate race before the voters this year, today ends with a whimper, instead of a bang. Republican incumbent Craig Thomas is on track to win a third term in the Senate in the very Republican state of Wyoming in one of the least hotly contested battles of the cycle.

The Democrat nominee is Dale Groutage, a retired research scientist making his first run for public office. Polls taken on this race throughout the year have shown the highly-regarded Thomas holding a very large lead, and a Mason-Dixon survey out today puts the Republican’s lead at a massive 67-26 discrepancy. The poll even shows that a majority of voters have not even heard of Groutage. Thomas’s lead in this latest survey of Cowboy State voters is even wider than the large lead that incumbent Democrat Dave Freudenthal holds in his reelection contest for Governor. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if the senior Senator and the Governor had squared off against each other for either office. Most likely though, the popular Freudenthal would have run for an open Senate seat had Thomas tried for Governor, as the state is reliably pro-GOP at the federal level, and he would not have wanted to face Thomas. With such a foregone conclusion as to his own race, Thomas may be free to try to prop up the candidacy of his home-state colleague serving in the House, Barbara Cubin.

So, I do not know what else to say about this final race in the series. Thomas is so safe in this contest that he could basically announce that the story “Brokeback Mountain” was inspired by the torrid love affair he once had with Dick Cheney in the wilds of Wyoming, and he would still be an easy winner, and earn the two of them a special appearance on Oprah to boot.

Thomas campaign link:

(Note to Ron Gunzburger to please include this campaign link on the WY page of, not that it would really make much of a difference in this race)

Complete 2006 U.S. Senate race predictions: 19 D, 14 R
Predicted post-election Senate balance of power: 46 D, 54 R

These totals are based on a running tally for the Race of the Day beginning in late July. Updated U.S. Senate predictions and classifications will be forthcoming by the end of the week.