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Wyoming Primary Election Results By the Numbers

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Enzi continues the perfect renomination streak of Wyoming U.S. Senators - 28 for 28 since the first primary contest 1916; Lummis extends renomination streak by Cowboy State U.S. Representatives to 19 in a row since 1972

mattmead10.jpgOne-term Wyoming Governor Matt Mead prevailed as expected in Tuesday's Republican primary, winning 55 percent of the vote in the three-candidate field.

Mead faced two challengers in the contest with the most notable being State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill who came in last with only 13 percent while Cheyenne physician Taylor Haynes garnered just shy of one-third of the vote in second.

Mead famously stripped Hill of most of her duties as the head of the Department of Education last year - a decision that was eventually reversed by the Wyoming Supreme Court earlier this year. Hill challenged Mead for the GOP nod as a result.

With his victory, Mead avoided becoming the first sitting governor from Wyoming to lose his party's nomination since Republican Clifford Rogers in 1954.

Rogers was the Acting Governor of the state for two years after GOPer Frank Barrett cut his term short winning the U.S. Senate election of 1952.

Rogers was defeated by Milward Simpson in the August 1954 primary.

Prior to Rogers, only three other governors (or acting governors) failed to win his or her party's nomination in Wyoming history: Republicans Fenimore Chatterton in 1904, Robert Carey in 1922, and Alonzo Clark in 1932.

Overall, Wyoming governors are now 18 for 22 in securing their party's nomination since statehood, for a success rate of 82 percent.

Republican U.S. Senate Primary

The state's U.S. Senate primary offered much less fanfare than what was expected in 2013 when Liz Cheney set out to challenge three-term incumbent Mike Enzi in the Republican primary.

Cheney withdrew from the race in early 2014, and Enzi was left with four lesser-known challengers: Arthur Clifton of Cheyenne, Bryan Miller of Sheridan, James 'Coaltrain' Gregory of Jackson, and Thomas Bleming of Lusk.

Enzi cruised to a 72-point victory over Miller with 82 percent of the vote.

Wyoming U.S. Senators running for reelection are now a perfect 28 for 28 in renomination bids in the direct election era with victories by Republican Clarence Clark (1916), Republican Francis Warren (1918, 1924), Democrat John Kendrick (1922, 1928), Democrat Joseph O'Mahoney (1934, 1940, 1946, 1952), Republican Robert Carey (1936), Democrat Harry Schwartz (1942), Republican Edward Robertson (1948), Republican Frank Barrett (1958), Democrat J.J. Hickey (1962), Democrat Gale McGee (1964, 1970), Republican Clifford Hansen (1972), Republican Malcolm Wallop (1982, 1988), Republican Alan Simpson (1984, 1990), Republican Craig Thomas (2000, 2006), Republican Mike Enzi (2002, 2008, 2014), and Republican John Barrasso (2008, 2012).

Wyoming is one of just eight states in which U.S. Senators seeking reelection have never lost their party's nomination along with Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

The four challengers taking on Enzi ties the state record for the largest field to face a Republican U.S. Senate incumbent across 18 such primaries in state history.

In 1988, GOPer Malcolm Wallop also faced four challengers and won 83.2 percent of the primary vote.

There has been no primary challenger in 10 of the 18 cycles in which a Republican U.S. Senator from Wyoming sought reelection.

Republican U.S. House Primary

In the Republican primary for the state's at-large U.S. House seat, three-term incumbent Cynthia Lummis easily dispensed with her lone challenger, Jason Senteney of Yoder.

Lummis won approximately three-quarter percent of the vote en route to the 19th consecutive successful renomination bid by a sitting Wyoming U.S. Representative dating back to Democrat Teno Roncalio in 1972.

Overall, U.S. Representatives seeking reelection have won 48 of 49 renomination bids since statehood.

The only sitting member of the nation's lower legislative chamber from the Cowboy State to lose his or her party's nomination was William Henry Harrison in 1968.

Harrison, a direct descendent of Presidents William Henry and Benjamin, had served five terms in the U.S. House across three interrupted stints from 1951-1955, 1961-1965, and 1967-1969 but lost the GOP nod in 1968 to John Wold.

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Remains of the Data

Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

Political Crumbs

Haugh to Reach New Heights

The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


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