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Wyoming Is The Epicenter Of America’s Fake ‘Red State’ Problem

Wyoming Republicans are governing more like blue-collar Democrats than principled conservatives.


America’s federalist system of government offers conservatives the most effective mechanism to fight the Biden administration’s increasing authoritarianism. But how can they do this if the Republicans they elect refuse to use it?

Throughout U.S. politics, Wyoming has garnered a reputation for being one of the most Republican-friendly states in the country. During the 2020 election, former President Donald Trump defeated Joe Biden in the Cowboy State by 43.3 points. Democrats haven’t won the state in a presidential contest since 1964, when Lyndon B. Johnson was the incumbent.

These factors would normally indicate that Wyoming is one of the most conservative jurisdictions in the country — but that simply isn’t the case. Despite controlling the governor’s mansion and possessing supermajorities in the state legislature, Wyoming Republicans are governing more like blue-collar Democrats than principled conservatives. In recent weeks, the GOP-dominated legislature has struck down numerous bills seeking to advance pro-freedom policies and prevent leftism from corrupting the state.

On Feb. 15, for example, 19 House Republicans joined the body’s five Democrats to kill the “What is a Woman Act.” According to the Cowboy State Daily, the bill (HB 50) sought to define “people’s sex as male or female by their biology at birth under Wyoming law, and preclude[] special accommodations for people who identify otherwise.” The measure would also have mandated that “people … use bathrooms, locker rooms and other facilities as determined by their biological sex at birth.”

While a majority of lawmakers supported the bill’s introduction (37-24-1), a two-thirds majority is required for any “non-budget legislation” to be introduced during a legislative budget session, according to the outlet.

A conservative bill seeking to ban private election funding was also defeated by establishment Republicans. HB 42 would have barred election officials from accepting “any contribution, donation or anything of value for purposes of conducting an election.” Secretary of State Chuck Gray had previously requested the legislature pass such a measure to stave off Democrats’ “Zuckbucks” scheme ahead of the 2024 election.

During the 2020 contest, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg poured hundreds of millions of dollars into left-wing nonprofits, which dumped these funds into local election offices across the country. These “Zuckbucks” were used to change how elections were administered in ways that favored Democrats. Not only did the grants go toward expanding unsupervised election protocols such as mail-in voting and ballot drop boxes, but they were also heavily skewed toward Democrat-majority counties, essentially making it a privately funded get-out-the-vote operation for Democrats.

Despite receiving effectively unanimous support during its introduction (one lawmaker was excused), the House Corporations Committee voted to table HB 42 during its Feb. 14 meeting. GOP Rep. Cody Wylie, who initiated the motion, indicated the move was an act of retaliation against the Wyoming Freedom Caucus, whose members voted down several establishment-backed bills introduced earlier in the session. A bid to recall the bill from committee was also unsuccessful, with 28 Republicans joining Democrats to defeat the motion (28-33-1).

Conservative bills granting parents greater oversight of their children’s health records, expanding school choice, and requiring the legislature’s approval for any “public health emergency” declared by the governor were also defeated.

These actions don’t even take into account the weak-kneed leadership of Wyoming’s Republican Gov. Mark Gordon, who has touted Democrats’ green agenda policies and is seeking to dramatically increase the state’s budget. Gordon notoriously declined to sign legislation preventing boys from competing in girls’ sports last year. While allowing the bill to become law, the GOP governor regurgitated leftist rhetoric to attack the bill, claiming it “sends a harmful message” that people who identify as transgender “do not deserve the same opportunities as others.”

“I reiterate my belief that hate and discrimination have no place in Wyoming,” Gordon said at the time. “As we move forward over the next couple of years, I urge the legislature to carefully consider policies that promote inclusion and equality for all individuals.”

[RELATED: Governor Of Nation’s Largest Coal State Leads Charge To ‘Decarbonize’ The West]

A Widespread Problem

Unfortunately, the fecklessness of Republicans is not exclusive to Wyoming. Antagonism toward conservative policies is quite common among GOP state legislators, as an April 2023 investigation by The Daily Wire discovered.

The analysis not only found Wyoming Republicans to have one of the most liberal voting records among GOP-controlled legislatures, but it also highlighted how Republicans in many so-called “red states” vote more liberally than GOPers in “blue states.” South Carolina and Alabama Republicans, for example, have far less conservative voting records than their GOP counterparts in blue states such as Maine and California.

The investigation listed Florida and Wisconsin Republicans as those with the most conservative voting records.

[RELATED: Thanks To The State Freedom Caucus Network, GOP Legislatures Are Getting More Conservative]

Regarding Wyoming, one analysis discovered that “Wyoming lawmakers’ voting patterns found that 31 legislators were ‘very liberal’ — and all but two of them had Rs behind their name,” according to The Daily Wire. “That put 29 Republicans further to the left of three Democrats, who were merely ‘liberal.'”

A War on Two Fronts

Wyoming Republicans’ betrayal of their voters is a perfect case study of the fake “red state” dilemma plaguing the country.

For years, establishment Republicans have been able to weasel their way into office by following a fairly simple blueprint. First, they regurgitate GOP talking points, rail against Democrats, and claim to support conservative policies. Next, they support noncontroversial legislation once elected but largely avoid engaging in the major cultural battles and policy fights that matter. Finally, when confronted (if at all) with their mediocre voting records during election season, they replay step one of the blueprint and hope GOP primary voters don’t notice.

With the exception of Florida, most red states are not nearly as conservative as they should be. If Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Republicans can take what was once one of the most contested battleground states in the country and transform it into a bastion for conservativism, then there’s zero excuse for why so-called red states like Wyoming can’t do the same.

Conservatives can’t expect to defeat Biden and the Democrats with both hands tied behind their backs. Until establishment Republicans are kicked to the curb, American restorationists will continue to watch the country they love perish before their eyes.

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