CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Wyoming Democrats will likely push back next year's presidential caucus to April in order to win more delegates to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
They're also looking to coordinate their caucus day with Democrats in other neighboring states as a way to both increase their delegate total and lure in national political bigwigs to make campaign stops in Wyoming.
During the Wyoming Democrats' central committee meeting next weekend in Casper, top state party leaders will discuss moving the caucuses from March 8 to either April 7 or April 14, said Bill Luckett, state party executive director.
That's because under new Democratic National Committee rules, state parties that schedule their caucuses in April get a 10 percent delegate bonus. It's meant as an incentive to avoid a replay of 2008, when several states moved up their primaries and caucuses to play a bigger role in the Democratic presidential primary.
Rescheduling caucus day to April would likely mean two additional convention delegates for Wyoming, which had 18 delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention -- the smallest delegation of any state.
Luckett said party leaders might prefer April 14 because April 7 is the day before Easter.
Wyoming Democrats are also talking with their counterparts in neighboring states -- including Kansas, Nebraska and Idaho -- about holding caucuses on the same day, Luckett said. If three or more contiguous states hold caucuses or primaries on the same day, the Democratic National Committee will award an additional convention delegate to each of the states.
Luckett said that by clustering with other states, it also makes it more likely that President Barack Obama or prominent Democrats would campaign in Wyoming -- even though most expect Obama to be re-nominated without much opposition.
The Wyoming Republican Party, meanwhile, will wait until after leadership elections next week before considering when to hold its caucuses next year, said state GOP Executive Director Evan Ridley.
In 2008, Wyoming Republicans defied the national party's wishes by holding their caucus on Jan. 5 -- the second-earliest in the nation, after Iowa. As punishment, only half the 28 Wyoming delegates were allowed to attend the Republican National Convention.