Trauner: Opponent’s ads about me wrong
Polls show U.S. House candidates in dead heat.
By Noah Brenner, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
October 22, 2008
Wilson Democrat Gary Trauner criticized his adversary Cynthia Lummis in the race for lone Wyoming seat in the U.S. House for distorting his record, saying the Cheyenne Republican will say anything to win.
Trauner pointed to Lummis’ television ads that say he is for a national gun registry, that he supports giving more than $1 trillion in benefits to illegal immigrants and that his tax plan would raise taxes on average Wyoming families as three examples of her distorting his record.
“The big issue I think is whether we elect someone that will do anything and say anything to win,” he said in an interview in Jackson on Monday. “Look at the topics of my opponent’s ads – they are the same as Barbara Cubin’s” ads in the 2006 election.
Lummis staff did not return multiple calls requesting a response from her to Trauner’s comments.
Though negative politics has long been practiced in the U.S., Trauner argues that campaigning is a reflection of someone’s character and judgment.
“I tell people the way you campaign is the way you will govern,” he said.
The latest polls show Lummis and Trauner in a statistical dead heat in their race for Wyoming’s seat in the U.S. House.
The poll done Monday and Tuesday shows Trauner with 44 percent to Lummis’ 43 percent. Four percent said they would vote for Libertarian candidate W. David Herbert.
Nine percent were undecided. Of the undecided voters, 75 percent were Republicans, 16 percent were Democrats and 9 percent identified themselves as independents.
The poll was conducted for the Casper Star-Tribune by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research of Washington, D.C. The poll surveyed 625 likely Wyoming voters by telephone and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Forty-one percent said they had a favorable impression of Trauner, while 31 percent had an unfavorable impression and 20 percent were neutral. Eight percent didn’t recognize his name.
Lummis was rated favorably by 35 percent of likely voters, unfavorably by 34 percent and neutral by 24 percent. Seven percent said they didn’t recognize her name.
Trauner was down by 7 percentage points in a similarly timed Casper Star-Tribune poll during his 2006 race with Cubin. He lost by only about 1,000 votes, or less than 1 percent.
Trauner said he can win this race by focusing on his stance on key issues and keeping his campaign positive.
“We win this race by making it clear to people the choice that they have,” he said. “Either the same old party line negative-attack politics that may have in the past been successful but don’t do anything to solve the issues of our day or someone who over the last three years has demonstrated they are not going go there. I am going to talk about issues and do it from a ‘right for Wyoming’ perspective, not ‘what’s right for the political party’ one.”
Those issues, however, have changed since the start of the race, Trauner said.
“Pocketbook issues are the critical issues people are thinking about today,” he said, noting that he does not field as many questions about issues like immigration and the war in Iraq.
Despite his polling figures, Trauner said he still has an uphill road to climb because of the preponderance of registered Republicans in the state.
“I have to work harder than she does just because of those registration numbers,” he said.