The State of the Election: Rockies

Democrat Walt Minnick, left, and Republican Rep. Bill Sali debate one another at the Brandt Center at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, in their quest for the Congressional District 1 seat.
Democrat Walt Minnick, left, and Republican Rep. Bill Sali debate one another at the Brandt Center at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, in their quest for the Congressional District 1 seat. (By Mike Vogt -- Associated Press)
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Idaho (4 electoral votes)

John McCain will cruise here. Republicans haven't lost a Senate election in the state since 1974, and this year should be no different. In the race to succeed retiring Sen. Larry E. Craig (R), Lt. Gov. Jim Risch (R) is heavily favored over Democrat Larry LaRocco. The House race in the 1st District, however, is shaping up as a potential upset, with Walt Minnick (D) pushing Rep. Bill Sali (R) to the limit.

Utah (5)

This state may provide McCain with his biggest margin on Nov. 4. In the governor's race, incumbent Jon Huntsman Jr. (R) is easily outpacing Democratic challenger Bob Springmeyer. Jason Chaffetz (R), a former gubernatorial aide who beat out Republican incumbent Rep. Chris Cannon in the 3rd District primary, has a solid lead against Democrat Bennion Spencer, a 25-year journalism veteran.

Wyoming (3)

Wyoming is a safe bet for McCain. Sen. John Barrasso (R), who was appointed by Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D) in 2007 after the death of Sen. Craig Thomas (R), is expected to easily beat lawyer Nick Carter (D). Sen. Mike Enzi (R) will also handily defeat newcomer Chris Rothfuss (D). The competitive race in the state is between Gary Trauner (D) and former state treasurer Cynthia Lummis (R), who are vying for the House seat of retiring Rep. Barbara Cubin (R). Trauner is a well-known businessman who lost to Cubin two years ago by 1,012 votes.


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