Wyoming Democrats Weigh In On Sanders, Clinton
MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
We were wondering what it's like to caucus in a state where your party is so - well, tiny. So we called up a couple of those Wyoming Democrats before they headed out to caucus. Zachary Lentsch is a senior at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. He's a Bernie Sanders supporter. Dana Mann Tavegia is a fourth-generation cattle rancher in sparsely-populated Weston County, and she prefers Hillary Clinton.
DANA MANN TAVEGIA: Our caucus is - we're expecting between 30 and 70 people, I believe. And we'll be in the meeting room of the Weston County Library. There'll be a caucus chair, and they'll explain the rules. And folks will speak for their candidate. And I can tell you when some new folks come in that we don't know, they'll pretty much know everybody by the time they leave.
MARTIN: Zachary, what about you? You were telling us earlier that this is your first time - that you've actually been old enough to participate in a caucus. But you've been to them before. What's it been like for you?
ZACHARY LENTSCH: I'll be caucusing in Albany County, so it's the first time I've been there. But people are definitely expecting a very large turnout. And this is a little bit bigger place than Weston County. So, you know, we have a population of 30,000. And so I expect there to be a very heated conversation.
MARTIN: I understand that you're leaning to Bernie Sanders. Tell me about that. What draws you to him?
LENTSCH: The short story is that I feel that Bernie Sanders is the only candidate on either side of the aisle speaking real truth to power. As someone who grew up in Wyoming, I think a lot of Sanders supporters here feel similarly. We're kind of on the precarious periphery of sorts of mainstream politics. And that gives us a very critical outsider's perspective at what's going and the establishment.
MARTIN: OK, Dana, what about you? What draws you to Hillary Clinton?
TAVEGIA: I have had the pleasure of meeting her several times. I did serve on the DNC when I was state vice chair. She's an extremely intelligent and strong woman, a fighter and a survivor. I mean, big money and power have been after her for literally decades to no avail. And I think her vision and her intelligence strikes some fear in them. And that vision of this country with opportunity for all really does match mine when we're talking about gender inequality, women's (unintelligible) health issues.
MARTIN: So can I ask you though, what about people who say that the energy is on the Bernie Sanders side? For whatever reason that people just seem to be more excited about Bernie Sanders than they do about Hillary Clinton overall? Do you see that where you are?
TAVEGIA: Well, I really don't. You know, and someone asked me who I thought was going to win the Wyoming caucus. And I honestly don't have a clear vision of who's going to win. I think it's going to be very close here. I really do.
MARTIN: Zachary, what about you? I know you went to a Bernie Sanders rally earlier this week. We're hearing that there's just a lot more kind of excitement on his side. Do you see that?
LENTSCH: Yeah, living in a college town, there definitely is a lot more public enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders in the town of Laramie. The rally that you mentioned, people were standing in line - longer lines than I've ever seen, you know, even for a football game here. But there are many supporters of Hillary Clinton in Laramie that are college students. And there's a very good debate going on between supporters of both camps about, you know, who is really going to take this country forward.
MARTIN: Would you support Hillary Clinton if she were the eventual nominee?
LENTSCH: You know, that's a great question. And I would say I'm not sure as of yet. But I would say I'm leaning towards no.
MARTIN: So what if the nominee's Donald Trump?
LENTSCH: Well, if it meant, you know, averting, you know, apocalypse of Donald Trump yes, I would strongly consider voting for her.
MARTIN: Those were the Wyoming caucus-goers Zachary Lynch and Dana Mann Tavegia. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.