JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Earlier this month we asked our readers to take to 2018 Buckrail election poll. With nearly 600 verified unique entries in the poll, we are ready to unveil the results, coupled with the annual Teton Barbers Poll. Together, this pre-election polling could provide some valuable insight into how the races are shaping up.
If you haven’t voted yet and notice your favorite candidates are trailing here, maybe this will inspire you to make sure you cast your ballot. If your candidate choice is leading in our poll, you might want to ensure it stays that way.
Need more information before you commit? We’ve got you covered with our exhaustive Buckrail Local Election Info Sheet.
Political affiliation of poll participants.
INSIGHT: First things first, our poll showed a fairly accurate spread of party affiliation, mirroring quite closely what has been evidenced in Teton County recently. We’ve always been Republican-dominate but trending sharply toward Democrats with a healthy bunch of independents and undeclared voters.
Buckrail Reader Demographics:
INSIGHT: Here at Buckrail, our own internal analytics show a very even male / female split and a very nice spread over reader age groups with the largest portion of Buckrail readers in the 55-65 year old demographic.
INSIGHT: Our survey has former mayor Mark Barron-R out front, followed incumbent Mark Newcomb-D and Andrew P. Byron-R. If our poll was the general election results, those three would take their seats on the Board of County Commissioners. It’s worth noting how close the race appears to be after Barron. Luther Propst-D, Mary M. Martin-R and Seadar Rose Davis-D are all certainly within striking distance, especially if one considers the Teton Barbers Poll.
At the local clip joint, they had Newcomb leading the pack with 63 votes. Barron (50), Propst (47), Seadar Rose Davis-D (30), Byron (26), Martin (20), Wes Gardner-I (11), Sandy Ress-I (5) rounded out the field. Keep in mind the barber poll tends to trend on the Republican conservative side.
INSIGHT: The town race looks close for the top spot but that won’t matter in the end except for bragging rights. Two get on the council and those two look like Don Frank and Arne Jorgensen. Jonathan Schechter could play spoiler here, though. He’s close in the barber poll as well. They have it Jorgensen (33), Frank (25), and Schechter (22).
INSIGHT: Matt Carr-D leads all comers comfortably in both the Buckrail poll and Teton Barbers Poll. The barbershop has Carr out front with 53 votes, followed by Michelle Weber-R with 19, and Slade Ross-I at 13.
The race has multiple complexities that make it a tough one to handicap. Antiquated statute calls for a partisan office post while a majority in the community would probably agree that is not what motivates their vote. So, is Carr doing well because he is a Democrat, or because he is the closest thing to an incumbent in the race (holding Undersheriff position and endorsement by current Sheriff), or because he simply has more name cachet?
Weber has extensive experience in law enforcement and a strong military background. Has that helped push her vote or is it the ‘R’ after her name? Or are other factors at play? Will her recent endorsement from Police Chief Todd Smith boost her numbers?
Slade Ross, running as an Independent, has always said party has no place in the Sheriff’s Office. Is he getting votes from people who agree with that, or are people backing him for his 19-year service with the SO?
INSIGHT: Normally a bit of a sleepy race, this one is getting a lot of attention. The latest round of property value assessment and taxation has met with more than the usual grousing. Is that the fault of the assessor or state statute? Late challenger Maurine Karabatsos has made enormous strides in a short time but she still isn’t there yet to unseat incumbent Mel Shinkle. The barbers see it Shinkle 60, Karabatsos 19.
INSIGHT: This one should be close. It’s the lightning rod of this year’s mid-term election. Buckrail and Teton Barbers has the tax passing. It is smoother sailing in our survey, the clip joint has it tighter at 38 votes FOR, 32 AGAINST.
INSIGHT: Teton County has a growing history now of bucking the statewide trend when it comes to the governor’s office. The state, in fact, has history of backing more than its share of moderate Democrats for Governor, especially considering Wyoming’s deep shade of ‘red.’
Some pundits contend Mark Gordon-R picked up a batch of temporary votes during the primary from Dems who either wanted Foster Friess-R out of the race or saw Gordon as a more beatable candidate in November. We’ll see how that shakes out, but according to our poll, Gordon appears to be holding his own in Teton County. The barbershop had it tight with Gordon edging Mary Throne-D 43-42.
United States Senator:
INSIGHT: Gary Trauner-D has always done well in Teton County. His two previous runs at a state house seat were both close and impressive considering a Democrat from Wilson nearly knocked out an incumbent Republican both times. Here, Buckrail has Trauner again reaping some county love, ahead of incumbent John Barrasso-R by a close margin. Barbers see an even bigger gap, with Trauner leading the way over Barrasso, 58-28.
United States Representative:
INSIGHT: Liz Cheney-R has always received a bit of a unwelcoming from her home turf constituents. Part of it is bad blood left from her father’s VP legacy, part of it is the residency thing. And then there’s the whole fishing license drama.
So, it is not surprising to see her being edged out here by a relatively unknown in Greg Hunter-D but expect Cheney’s numbers to look much improved in staunchly Republican counties across Wyoming. The barbers had Cheney getting trounced, 52-26, in favor of Hunter.
House District 23:
INSIGHT: For a late write-in, Alex Muromcew-R is giving incumbent Andy Schwartz-D all he can handle. House Reps races are always interesting. Some voters believe a Democrat best represents Teton County interests in Cheyenne. Others believe Dems are ineffective lawmakers in the decidedly Republican House.
Schwartz leads the way here in both Buckrail’s poll and the Barber Poll, where he garnered 54 votes to Muromcew’s 10.
Senate District 17:
INSIGHT: Closest race in the general election, no doubt. Incumbent Mike Gierau-D is a well-liked and fairly right-leaning Democrat. Kate Mead-R was a longtime school board chair with a wheelbarrow full of name clout in Teton County. The barbers see it more the incumbent’s way with Gierau leading Mead, 60-23.
House District 16:
INSIGHT: Barbara Allen-R brings a ton of experience as a very popular local politician who once chaired the Board of County Commissioners, Planning Commission, and has extensive experience serving on other boards. Michael Yin-D is no newcomer to politics, either. He’s the vice chair of the Teton County Democrats and very active in the community. Allen leads the close race in both polls, Teton Barbers have her edging Yin, 39-31.
House District 22:
INSIGHT: Take this poll with a grain of salt—Marti Halverson-R will. The incumbent has made a history now of failing to carry Teton County but getting enough support from Lincoln and Sublette to win in the end. Once again, she trails here in a close race with Jim Roscoe-I. Roscoe was a State House Representative from 2009-2013 as a Democrat. He defeated Bill Winney-R for the seat in a close race in 2010 and opted not to run for reelection in 2012. Barbershop poll has it 38 for Roscoe, 16 for Halverson.
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