The Wyoming Caucuses

By the way, Barack Obama's 61-to-38 percent victory in Wyoming owed very much to two counties: Albany (Laramie) and Teton (Jackson Hole). They're both atypical of the state. Laramie is the home of the University of Wyoming, and some 24 percent of registered voters showed up--much more than in almost any other county in the state. Obama led there 75 to 24 percent. Teton County, filling up with liberal rich people who have made their money elsewhere and are now placing their residences in Wyoming, which does not have an income tax, was the only county in the state to vote for John Kerry in 2004. (In Idaho, similarly, the county that is by far the richest in the state, Blaine, home of Sun Valley, was the only county in Idaho to vote for Kerry, whose wife happens to have one of her five houses there.) In Teton County, it appears that 37 percent of registered Democrats showed up for the caucuses, and they voted 80 to 20 percent for Obama.

By way of comparison, the counties that historically have been the most Democratic in Wyoming, Carbon and Sweetwater on the Union Pacific Railroad line, had much lower turnout (10 and 8 percent of registered Democrats) and voted for Clinton. Albany and Teton counties produced a 1,329-vote margin for Obama, 64 percent of his 2,066-vote statewide margin. Carbon and Sweetwater counties produced a 99-vote margin for Clinton. The wealthy and highly educated seem to have replaced the white working class as the dominant force in the Democratic Party, even in gritty, down-to-earth Wyoming.

By Michael Barone