United States Senate elections in Wyoming, 2014

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2014 U.S. Senate Elections in Wyoming

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
August 19, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Pending
Incumbent prior to election:
Mike Enzi Republican Party
Mike Enzi.jpg

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Solid Republican[1]

Sabato's Crystal Ball: Safe R[2]


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2014 U.S. House Elections

Flag of Wyoming.png
Voters in Wyoming will elect one member to the U.S. Senate in the election on November 4, 2014. In 2013, Liz Cheney launched a campaign to unseat Sen. Mike Enzi, making the race one to watch in 2014.[3] Cheney, however, dropped out of the race in January 2014, citing family health issues.[4] With Cheney out of the race, Enzi defeated four other challengers in the Republican primary on August 19, 2014.[5] Charlie Hardy defeated Al Hamburg, Rex Wilde and William Bryk in the Democratic primary.[5] Enzi and Hardy will face independent Curt Gottshall and Libertarian Joe Porambo in the general election. The race is rated a "Safe Republican" contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.[6]
Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
May 30, 2014
August 19, 2014
November 4, 2014

Primary: Wyoming is one of 12 states to use a strictly closed primary process, in which the selection of a party's candidates in an election is limited to registered party members.[7][8][9]

Voter registration: Voters must register to vote in the primary by election day. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 20, 2014.[10]

See also: Wyoming elections, 2014

Incumbent: The election will fill the Senate seat currently held by Mike Enzi (R). Enzi was first elected in 1996.

Candidates

General election candidates


August 19, 2014, primary results

Republican Party Republican Primary

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Withdrew from race

Election results

Republican primary

U.S. Senate, Wyoming Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMike Enzi Incumbent 81.8% 77,965
Bryan Miller 9.8% 9,330
James Gregory 3.9% 3,740
Thomas Bleming 2.6% 2,504
Arthur Clifton 1.5% 1,403
Write-in 0.4% 346
Total Votes 95,288
Source: Wyoming Secretary of State

Democratic primary

U.S. Senate, Wyoming Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngCharlie Hardy 47.7% 7,200
Rex Wilde 20% 3,012
Al Hamburg 19.8% 2,988
William Bryk 11.1% 1,670
Write-in 1.4% 216
Total Votes 15,086
Source: Wyoming Secretary of State

Race background

The projected primary battle between incumbent Mike Enzi and Liz Cheney was pinpointed as one of the top five primaries to watch in 2014.[3] Cheney, however, dropped out of the race on January 6, 2014, because of family health issues.[4]

Multiple races

William Bryk, who was defeated by Hardy in the Democratic primary, also ran for Senate in Alaska, Oregon and Idaho in 2014. When asked why he entered multiple races he said, "I think it is a public service, and it is really fun. To me, it is a harmless and painless way of getting the party system to do its job. The job of an opposition party is to oppose. The whole purpose of an adversarial political system is to gain power by defeating the other guy, and when you don’t run candidates you are not doing that."[18]

Key votes

Below are important votes that Enzi cast during the 113th Congress.

Economy

Farm bill

Yea3.png On February 4, 2014, the Democratic controlled Senate approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[19] It passed the Senate with a vote of 68-32. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that will kick in when prices drop; however, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[20] Enzi joined with 19 other Republican senators in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Nay3.png On January 16, 2014, the Democratic-controlled Senate approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[21][22] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[22] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[23] It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Enzi voted with 25 other Republican members against the bill.[21][22]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Nay3.png During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[24] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Enzi voted with the Republican Party against the bill.[25]

Enzi said he would return his earnings to the U.S. Treasury.[26]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Nay3.png Enzi voted against H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[27]

Immigration

Mexico-U.S. border

Yea3.png Enzi voted for Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[28]

Healthcare

Affordable Care Act

David Vitter (R-La) introduced Senate Bill 1497 on September 12, 2013, to expand the required coverage by state health insurance exchange, American Health Benefit Exchange, from members of Congress and their staff to also include the president, vice-president, executive branch political appointees and employees of congressional committees and leadership offices of Congress. It also prohibited any government contribution to or subsidy of this coverage. It was originally co-sponsored by Enzi, Dean Heller, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson and Jim Inhofe. Ted Cruz joined in on September 17, 2013.[29]

Vitter's bill was a response to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management ruling that allows members of Congress and their staff to keep their insurance subsidies provided by the government. The federal agency issued a proposed rule in August 2013. After a comment period, a final rule was issued and became effective October 2, 2013.[30][31]

Issues

Pre-primary controversy

Cheney

Same-sex marriage

Mary Cheney, the younger sister of Liz Cheney, sharply criticized her sister’s stance on same-sex marriage and urged her own Facebook friends to share the message.[32][33][34]

Posting on Facebook on August 30, 2013, Mary Cheney, who is gay and married her longtime partner in 2012, wrote: “For the record, I love my sister, but she is dead wrong on the issue of marriage.”[32]

Their father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, supports same-sex marriage, and the younger Cheney echoed some of his language on the issue when she added, “Freedom means freedom for everyone...That means that all families — regardless of how they look or how they are made — all families are entitled to the same rights, privileges and protections as every other,” Mary Cheney wrote.[32]

Earlier on August 30, 2013, Liz Cheney revealed her position on same-sex marriage, a topic she has kept relatively quiet about since declaring her candidacy in July 2013 against incumbent Mike Enzi. “I am not pro-gay marriage,” Liz Cheney said in a statement responding to poll against her in Wyoming. “I believe the issue of marriage must be decided by the states, and by the people in the states, not by judges and not even by legislators, but by the people themselves.”[32]

That position — deferring to the will of the voters on a state-by-state basis — may represent something of a compromise between total support or opposition, but did little to placate her sister.[32]

“It’s not something to be decided by a show of hands,” Mary Cheney wrote. Mary Cheney concluded her Facebook post: “Please like and share if you agree.” In an e-mail, Mary Cheney declined to comment further on her sister’s position, saying she would let her Facebook post speak for itself.[32]

Wyoming Fishing License

Liz Cheney came under fire in August 2013 for purchasing a resident fishing license in Wyoming when she did not qualify.[35]Wyoming resident fishing licenses require the holder to reside in Wyoming for at least one year.[35] Cheney did not meet that requirement. She posted a $220 bond and appeared in court on August 27, 2013, to address a charge of making a false statement to obtain a license. Cheney claimed she was not aware of the year requirement, but her application for the license said she had resided in Wyoming for the last 10 years. Cheney denied telling the clerk the residency claim that appeared on the application.[35]

Fishing is a popular sport in Wyoming and the charge reflected poorly on Cheney, according to Wyoming Republican strategist, Liz Brimmer. Brimmer said, “Allegedly poaching in a state where being a resident sportsman is, by law, an earned privilege. Wyoming people will take this very seriously.”[35]

Healthcare

In August 2013, Liz Cheney called on Mike Enzi, among other congressional members, to renounce the agreement allowing the government to subsidize part of the health care premiums for Congressional members and their staff. "The hypocrisy is stunning...But all too typical of how Congress works. Members cut special deals for themselves so they don’t feel the pain their laws inflict on the general public. That’s one of the reasons I’m running for the Senate — to end this self-serving, behind the scenes deal-making." Enzi's campaign spokesperson responded, "Senator Enzi has already opposed it and the other exemptions and delays for businesses, insurance companies etc. Senator Enzi will continue his efforts to defund and dismantle Obamacare. He’ll make decisions about his own health care without help from candidate Cheney."[36]

Involvement in Syria
See also: United States involvement in Syria

In September 2013, Liz Cheney called President Obama's desired involvement in Syria "an amateurish approach to national security and foreign policy." She continued by confirming that she would not vote to authorize intervention in Syria.[37]

According to a report by The Hill in September 2013, Cheney was among four Republican senate candidates who had come out against intervening in Syria while the incumbent challenger, in this case Enzi, remained undecided.[38]

Media

Charlie Hardy


"RUN WITH CHARLIE 2014."

Liz Cheney


Cheney's July 2013 video, "A Strong Voice for Wyoming."

Endorsements

Mike Enzi

  • Sen. Rand Paul endorsed Enzi over Liz Cheney, citing unfamiliarity with Cheney's political positions. Paul said, "I am a friend of Sen. Enzi and while we aren’t exactly the same, I consider him a good conservative."[39]
  • Sen. Jerry Moran, the National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman announced the official party body will support Enzi and several Senators have followed suit, including Wyoming Senator John Barrasso.[40]
  • Sen. John McCain endorsed Enzi.[41]
  • Former Sen. Olympia Snowe endorsed Enzi. She stated:
    • "There is no reason to challenge him. What is the basis? That he’s not working hard enough? He’s working very hard. That he’s not conservative enough? I think it’s regrettable.”[42]
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch endorsed Enzi. He stated:
    • “I don’t know why in the world she’s doing this." Enzi is “honest and decent, hard-working; he’s got very important positions in the Senate. He’s highly respected. And these are all things that would cause anybody to say: ‘Why would anybody run against him?’”[43]
  • Sen John Cornyn endorsed Enzi, although he likes Cheney as well. He reasoned:
    • “This is about getting the majority in the Senate. And we have to support our friends and people who have done a good job.”[43]

Liz Cheney

On Liz Cheney's campaign website, an endorsement from Rush Limbaugh was posted. Limbaugh said, “I’ve known you for many, many years. Throughout the entire time I’ve known you, you haven’t changed. Your conservatism has been consistent and solid and in fact, it may have even gotten stronger....We need about 95 more of you.”[44]

Polls

General Election
Poll Mike Enzi Charlie HardyOther/UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Rasmussen Reports
September 20 - October 1, 2014
75%17%8%+/-7264
Rasmussen Reports
August 20-21, 2014
63%27%10%+/-4700
AVERAGES 69% 22% 9% +/-5.5 482
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org
Republican primary
Poll Mike Enzi Liz CheneyUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling
Juy 19-21, 2013
55%26%19%+/-3.5780
Harper Polling
July 17-18, 2013
55%21%24%+/-4.77422
AVERAGES 55% 23.5% 21.5% +/-4.14 601
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

A July 17-18, 2013, poll conducted by Harper Polling, found that Wyoming Republican voters favored Mike Enzi 55 percent to Liz Cheney's 21 percent.[45] The poll found that both candidates had near universal name recognition in the state. It also indicated Cheney would have faced an uphill battle for the seat, if she had stayed in the race, as incumbent Mike Enzi had a 73 percent approval rating.[45] Of those polled, 38 percent said that they had heard of Cheney but had no opinion of her.[45]

Campaign contributions

Candidate ballot accecss
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Mike Enzi

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Enzi's reports.[46]

Mike Enzi (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[47]April 14, 2013$275,211.00$163,915.68$(63,230.56)$375,896.12
July Quarterly[48]July 15, 2013$375,896.12$171,290.52$(59,036.10)$488,150.54
October Quarterly[49]October 15, 2013$488,150.54$848,311.48$(127,053.13)$1,209,408.89
Year-end[50]January 31, 2014$1,209,408$987,352$(369,036)$1,827,725
Running totals
$2,170,869.68$(618,355.79)

Charlie Hardy

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Hardy's reports.[51]

Charlie Hardy (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Year-End[52]January 31, 2014$0.00$8,639.01$(2,459.26)$6,179.75
April Quarterly[53]April 15, 2014$6,179.75$23,941.95$(27,784.79)$2,336.91
July Quarterly[54]July 15, 2014$2,336.91$20,477.35$(20,767.08)$2,047.18
Running totals
$53,058.31$(51,011.13)

Liz Cheney

Liz Cheney (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
October Quarterly[55]October 8, 2013$0.00$1,027,569.90$(232,507.18)$795,062.72
Running totals
$1,027,569.9$(232,507.18)

Election history

2008

On November 4, 2008, Enzi won re-election to the U.S. Senate, defeating Chris Rothfuss (D).[56]

U.S. Senate, Wyoming General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMike Enzi Incumbent 75.7% 189,046
     Democratic Chris Rothfuss 24.3% 60,631
Total Votes 249,677

See also

External links

References

  1. Cook Political Report, "2014 Senate RACE RATINGS FOR July 18, 2014," accessed August 13, 2014
  2. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 Senate Races," accessed August 13, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Washington Post, "The Fix’s top 10 Senate races of 2014," accessed December 10, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 N.Y. Times, "For Cheney, Realities of a Race Outweighed Family Edge," accessed May 29, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Associated Press, "Wyoming - Summary Vote Results," accessed August 19, 2014
  6. Roll Call, "2014 Election Race Ratings," accessed August 11, 2014
  7. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  8. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  9. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013 through January 3, 2014 researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  10. Wyoming Secretary of State Website, "Registering to Vote," accessed January 3, 2014
  11. Curt Gottshall for Senate 2014, "Home," accessed March 3, 2014
  12. Facebook, "Porambo for Senate 2014," accessed July 21, 2014
  13. Politico, "Liz Cheney announces Senate bid," accessed July 16, 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Wyoming Secretary of State, "2014 Primary List," accessed May 29, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Wyoming Secretary of State,2014 Primary Candidate Roster," accessed July 21, 2014
  16. Run with Charlie 2014, "Home," accessed May 20, 2014
  17. Fox News, "Liz Cheney eyes run for US Senate seat in Wyoming," accessed July 8, 2013
  18. Huffington Post, "William Bryk, Brooklyn Attorney, Running For Senate In Alaska, Idaho, Oregon," accessed August 13, 2014
  19. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
  20. New York Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  21. 21.0 21.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  23. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  24. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  25. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  26. Washington Post, "Which lawmakers will refuse their pay during the shutdown?," accessed October 2, 2013
  27. Project Vote Smart, "HR 325 - To Ensure the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government Until May 19, 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  28. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  29. Congress.gov, "S.1497 - No Exemption for Washington from Obamacare Act," accessed October 15, 2013
  30. Regulations.gov, "Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: Members of Congress and Congressional Staff," October 2, 2013
  31. Forbes, "Congressmen Rejoice! Govt. To Subsidize Their Health Insurance Through Obamacare's Exchanges," August 2, 2013
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 32.4 32.5 NY Times, "Mary Cheney Criticizes Her Sister on Same-Sex Marriage," accessed September 2, 2013
  33. Washington Post, "Mary Cheney says Liz Cheney is ‘dead wrong’ on gay marriage," accessed September 2, 2013
  34. Chicago Tribune, "Sister says Liz Cheney's opposition to gay marriage 'dead wrong'," accessed September 2, 2013
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 Washington Post, "Liz Cheney to appear in court over errant fishing license," accessed August 25, 2013
  36. Politico, "Liz Cheney: Mike Enzi should ‘renounce’ deal," accessed August 13, 2013
  37. Politico, "Liz Cheney: I’d vote no on Syria plan," accessed September 4, 2013
  38. Politico, "Senate primary challengers target GOP incumbents on Syria strikes," September 8, 2013
  39. Politico, "Rand Paul: I’ve got Mike Enzi’s back vs. Liz Cheney," accessed July 12, 2013
  40. Politico, "Liz Cheney announces Senate bid," accessed July 16, 2013
  41. Huffington Post, "John McCain Endorses Mike Enzi (VIDEO)," accessed July 20, 2013
  42. Politico, "Olympia Snowe: Liz Cheney challenge to Mike Enzi ‘unfortunate,’" accessed July 23, 2013
  43. 43.0 43.1 Politico, "GOP senators to Liz Cheney: We like Mike Enzi," accessed July 29, 2013
  44. Cheney for Wyoming, "Home," accessed September 2, 2013
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 Politico, "Poll: Mike Enzi crushing Liz Cheney in Wyo.," accessed July 29, 2013
  46. Federal Election Commission, "Enzi 2014 Summary reports," accessed August 2, 2013
  47. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed August 2, 2013
  48. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed August 2, 2013
  49. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 30, 2013
  50. Federal Election Commission, "Year-End Report," accessed February 19, 2014
  51. Federal Election Commission, "Hardy 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 22, 2013
  52. FEC, "Year-End," accessed June 18, 2014
  53. FEC, "April Quarterly," accessed June 18, 2014
  54. FEC, "July Quarterly," accessed July 31, 2014
  55. FEC, "October Quarterly", accessed November 25, 2013
  56. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Elections of November 4, 2008," accessed October 19, 2011