A Wyoming Senate Seat Will be Open in 2020

The Story

Senator Michael Enzi (R – WY) announced over the weekend that he will not run for re-election next year. This means there will be a Senate campaign in Wyoming 2020 without an incumbent, which affects the arithmetic for the struggle to control the Senate as of January 2021.

Every Seat is Important: 

Enzi was first elected to the Senate in 1996, when he successfully ran to replace Alan Simpson. Enzi’s victory in ’96 was not arithmetically overwhelming: he defeated Democratic candidate Kathy Karpan, getting 54% of the vote.

But Enzi’s three re-elections (2002, 2008, 2014) have been by much more impressive margins. He received more than 70% of the vote each time.

At present, the Republican Party controls 53 seats in the US Senate. Even if they retain the Presidency, and thus the tie-breaking vote of the Vice President, after the election of 2020, a net loss of four Senate seats will lose them control of the chamber.

The Thing to Know: 

On the Democratic side, one of the more likely candidates for the open seat is David Freudenthal, who was the Governor of Wyoming for two terms (2003-2011). Freudenthal has a reputation as a moderate, having angered environmental groups during his tenure as Governor.

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