GOP Eyes Wyoming As Fight For Nomination Continues

The first of Wyoming’s 29 delegates to the Republican National Convention will be awarded this summer. The state has 23 counties.

Unlike the South Carolina primary and all of the other presidential contests this year, this one is really unique. In Wyoming, the electoral process follows a caucus-convention model consisting of several levels of gatherings, starting with precinct-level meetings, progressing to county or district-level meetings, and ending with the state party convention. Until candidates are picked to receive delegates to the national party convention, participants elect representatives to attend subsequent levels of the event.

While other caucus systems share certain fundamental parallels with the Wyoming Republican procedure, there are also some significant distinctions. As an example, unlike Nevada and Iowa, Wyoming Republicans do not hold a statewide presidential preference vote. In Nevada and Iowa, the statewide “winner” is determined by the results of the precinct caucuses. From the Wyoming GOP’s caucus procedure, the only thing that can be reported is the number of delegates each presidential candidate has received for the national convention.

The fact that Republican events in Wyoming are not always held simultaneously is another crucial distinction. On January 15, Republicans in the state of Iowa held their precinct-level caucuses simultaneously. Precinct caucuses for Wyoming’s 23 county-level Republican party committees have occurred on various days this year, with the first county set to go on Saturday and the last on February 2nd. The election for one delegate to the national convention takes place at the county level, with the winner of each of the 23 counties’ conventions advancing to the next level.

Six of the thirty-nine delegates to the national convention will be chosen during the April state party conference; the other twenty-three will be handed out at the county conventions.