Bill Sniffin: Wyo Democrats Sound Off On A Bernie Candidacy

As a Republican, living in arguably the most Republican state in the country, I was wondering what Wyomings Democrats are thinking, now that is looks like Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders might get their partys nomination?

Bill Sniffin

February 25, 20205 min read


By Bill Sniffin, Cowboy State Daily Publisher

Two of my favorite sayings are:

Carl Sandburg: “I am an idealist. I do not know where I am going but I am on my way!”

Will Rogers: “I belong to no organized political party. I am a Democrat.”

As a Republican, living in arguably the most Republican state in the country, I was wondering what Wyoming’s Democrats are thinking, now that is looks like Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders might get their party’s nomination?

The following exchanges were poached from comments on Facebook:

Prominent Democrat cheerleader Rodger McDaniel of Laramie asked some of his Democrat friends why liberal TV commentator Chris Mathews would attack Bernie Sanders?

(Former Secretary of State) Kathy Karpan: “Well, as Chris Mathews asked, shouldn’t a candidate running in the Democratic Party actually be a Democrat?” Karpan said Sanders replied: “No, I’m an Independent.”

Barbara Parsons (of Rawlins) said: “Kathy I agree. Bernie supporters need to get on board with the Democratic Party instead of being spoilers.” She also said: “Still if Bernie gets the nomination, I will certainly support him. And I would expect him to remain a Democrat after using the party.”

Buffalo Bulletin Publisher Robb Hicks chimed in on McDaniel’s Facebook post: “Bernie is a screeching, angry white old man. Methinks we’ve had enough of those.” He also replied to another comment: “ . . . if you think middle class suburbanites hated Hillary, just wait. If Bernie is the only alternative, no one can be surprised when Donald J. Trump gets four more years.”

Gaela Young (of Cheyenne) said: “Not a fan of Bernie either. Sorry, but he has always seemed very intransigent in his beliefs and not one to collaborate or lay well with others.”

“Bernie is what Democrats were like when FDR was president – not like the crop of corporate socialists we’re seeing a lot of these days,” says retired UW professor Phil Roberts of Laramie.

On Twitter, JCDemswyoming tweeted: “Wyoming Dems do not all agree. Some believe a hot dog is not a sandwich. We are not divided. We are diverse.” This was posted by Greg Haas who ran for state representative from district 40. He is helping out Johnson County Democrats.

Of course, the news was all abuzz Sunday when it was announced that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders ran the table during the Nevada Democratic caucuses.

Some folks thought there is now no way that Sanders can be denied the ultimate Democrat Presidential nomination. This would mean he would run against Republican President Donald Trump in the November general election.

Wow, what a contrast! Not sure when the country has seen such polar opposites since McGovern ran against Nixon so many decades ago. That did not go well for the Democrats with Nixon winning the biggest margin in history.

Most of my Republican friends are convinced Trump will slaughter Bernie in a landslide. A Bernie win would qualify as the biggest upset in history, I would think.

My Democrat friends in Wyoming are a hopeful and optimistic lot. They are always facing a steep uphill battle in the Cowboy State, which supported Trump by a bigger margin than any other state.

When you think of the natural native conservatism of Wyoming folks, it is going to be exciting to watch how the Bernie supporters fare here. Stay tuned.

One other interesting item: Democrat candidate Pete Buttigieg got off one of the best lines in his fund-raising campaign: “If you believe we shouldn’t have to choose between one candidate who wants to burn this party down (Bernie) and another (Mike Bloomberg) who wants to buy this party out, please donate to me!”

Totally switching gears, two friends died recently.

First was the great Jimmy Smail, 82, who died of complications of Alzheimer’s last week. Smail knew more about the Red Desert than just about anyone plus was an expert in the southern end of the Wind River Mountains and the Shoshone National Forest. I spent lots of time with him and an informative column will be coming soon.

Second, was Denise Foss, 65. She was a smart and incredibly fit young woman trying to decide how to maximize her retirement. She slipped on the ice, hit her head, and ultimately died.

Folks, be careful out there! In Lander, we have had ice on the ground since Oct. 7. Lots of reports of broken legs, wrists, and other injuries. Lean forward when you walk on ice and pretend you are a penguin. Good luck!

Check out additional columns at He has published six books. His coffee table book series has sold 34,000 copies. You can find more stories by Bill Sniffin by going to

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Bill Sniffin

Wyoming Life Columnist

Columnist, author, and journalist Bill Sniffin writes about Wyoming life on Cowboy State Daily -- the state's most-read news publication.