CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Democratic Party leadership discouraged registered Democrats from voting in the Aug. 19 Republican primary, saying moderates in the GOP need to stand up to the extreme right wing on their own.
On the day of the primary, voters in Wyoming can register for one political party, vote in that party’s primary and then register and vote in the other party’s primary. It’s called “crossover voting,” and it does not help the state’s minority party, said Ana Cuprill, chairwoman of the Wyoming Democratic Party.
Cuprill believes Mead opposed Medicaid expansion to appeal to the more conservative elements in the GOP, but now appears to be warming up to it to win over Democrats, she said in a party statement.
Gov. Matt Mead’s spokesman, Renny MacKay, said the governor still opposes Medicaid expansion, but is following a state law for Wyoming to negotiate with the federal government on a possible Medicaid expansion waiver program. The Legislature would decide on whether to accept the negotiations.
“Democrats need to let Republicans clean their own house on issues that matter to working families like workplace safety, wage equality, livable wages, health care access, and high educational standards,” said Bruce Palmer, the Democratic Party’s vice chairman. “Republicans generally aren’t talking about these issues, and when they are, they do not share Democratic values of fair play and common sense.”
For more than a year, moderate and Tea Party Republicans have been battling for the ideological soul of the party. In May, Mead survived an attempt by his party to censure him at its 2014 state convention.