Bill Sniffin: Where does Wyoming fit in a President Joe Biden world?

As residents of the most Republican Donald Trump-loving state in the country, many Wyoming folks are reeling in the face of the apparent election of their arch-nemesis Democrat Joe Biden.

Bill Sniffin

November 09, 20204 min read

Sniffin 1
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

As residents of the most Republican Donald Trump-loving state in the country, many Wyoming folks are reeling in the face of the apparent election of their arch-nemesis Democrat Joe Biden.

As I write this on Nov. 8, Biden has been declared president by the AP and all the major news media, including Fox News.

What are some of the realities connected with that result?  Here are some thoughts:

First, nothing is going to happen until Jan. 20 when Biden takes the oath of office. It will be interesting how President Trump deals with issues between now and inauguration day.

Second, January will be a huge month for politics.  Both Georgia Senate races will go to a special runoff during that month. It will be a donnybrook, as control of the Senate will depend on the results.

Third, since the presidency is now in the hands of the Democrats, the key to a return to some kind of normalcy will be if the Republicans continue to control the Senate. But the GOP has to win at least one of those Georgia seats.

Fourth, the reality is that in the big picture Wyoming is going to be hit hard by energy programs proposed by the new administration, especially when it comes to fossil fuels.

Fifth, Wyoming will have continued clout in Congress, but only on the Republican side.  The GOP needs control of the Senate to be able to use that clout.

And finally, sixth, some smart GOP operatives think Trump should come up with a plan right now to give a path to citizenship to a whole bunch of Hispanics. One of the big surprises of the 2020 election was how many Hispanics voted for Trump. This could bode well for the GOP going forward on a national level.

A look at who Biden picks as his Cabinet members will speak volumes about how his administration would treat Wyoming’s fossil fuels.  Will he pick a Green New Dealer to head up Interior and other sensitive posts? So far, he is emphasizing moderation and cooperation.

Biden backed off during the waning days of the campaign on his original vow to end oilfield fracking.  Ultimately, he clarified that he meant fracking “on federal land,” which affects Wyoming greatly. Most of the fracking in eastern states is on private land.

Hard-core Democrats have to ask the question:  Why did so many of the big-money Wall Street bankers back Biden?  Will money continue to rule this country?  Can Democrat idealism survive this big-money influence?

Let’s talk about the national news media. It was shameful how one-sided their coverage has been for four years against Trump. Can we expect to see a fair media again or will it continue to be the public relations arm for the Democrat Party?

Exit polling showed the two biggest issues in the presidential election were President Trump himself and the COVID-19 epidemic.  Millions of voters were weary of the drama. 

When it came to symbolism, the biggest identifiers of the two parties were a MAGA hat for Republicans and a face mask for Democrats.

Back here in Wyoming, the election saw an amazing transition finally occur in Sweetwater County.  Long considered a Democrat bastion, pundit Island Richards in Rock Springs pointed out that his county voted 70 percent Republican.  This sounds more like Park County than Sweetwater, frankly.

Two popular and effective Democrat legislators were dislodged when Lisa Anselmi-Dalton lost her Senate seat and Stan Blake lost his House seat. Both of these results were considered upsets by outsiders looking in at the Sweetwater County elections. But as Richards points out, to folks living there, the trend lines showed way more GOP voters, which helped explain those results.

Both Wyoming statewide candidates received national support but not to the same extent.  It appeared that Senate candidate Merav Ben-David got 10 times as much national financial assistance as House candidate Lynnette Grey Bull. 

Yet all that extra money made no difference. Grey Bull got 24.6 percent of the votes among four candidates for U. S. House.  Ben-David got 26.7 percent of the vote among just two Senate candidates.  Those races were runaway victories for Senate by former U. S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis and for House by current U. S. Rep. Liz Cheney.

In an earlier column, I mentioned how often we were getting phoned by Ben-David’s campaign. I erred in referring to someone as speaking in a “non-Wyoming” sounding voice.  Four people complained loudly to me that I was not sensitive enough.  I agree. But I am learning. Please be patient with me as I navigate the current world we live in.

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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.