|Tuesday, May 16, 2017
By John Spina
Jackson Hole Daily
Approval ratings for President Trump remain at historic lows and those of the Republican-controlled Congress have plummeted 22 points since February, according to a Gallup poll.
So the Teton County Republican Party is attempting to create some philosophical distance between itself and the national party — especially as political activists begin to focus on midterm elections.
Part of the county GOP’s effort to improve its communication work is a new virtual home at TetonGOP.com.
The new site, launched by Blue Sky Tech, offers a modern design along with much-improved functionality and access to up-to-date information.
New features include a calendar of events, volunteer and email sign-up, news releases, an online donation form, and information on contacting local, state and federal Republican officials.
“Effective communication with the citizens of this valley is critical to the future of the Teton County Republican Party,” said Paul Vogelheim, county GOP chairman. “With new leadership at the helm, we are excited to get our message and ideas for solutions to some of Teton County’s greatest challenges out to the community.”
The website relaunch follows the party’s recent election of new officers and release of updated principles focusing on fiscal responsibility, private-sector solutions, conservation and stewardship, and respect for individual freedom.
Along with its new virtual look, the local arm of the Republican Party is expected to announce a pivot away from some of the national party’s policy later this week.
“Paul understands the importance of broadening our base here in Teton County, recruiting new talent and ensuring Teton County has a seat at the table in tackling relevant state and national issues,” Wyoming state Sen. Leland Christensen said after electing Vogelheim chairman in March. “As the state continues to feel the crunch of the energy downturn, ensuring Teton County has strong Republican leadership both locally and in Cheyenne is more important than ever.”
Though Republicans dominate Wyoming, in Teton County the party has slipped in recent years. In 1980 two-thirds of Teton County voters were Republicans, but by 2010 the party had fallen to under half of those registered. From 2004 to 2016 the decrease was from 57 to 44 percent.
During last year’s presidential campaign Democrats increased their share of voters in Teton County to about 36 percent. Independents and members of the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party accounted for about 20 percent.
In contrast, about 10 of Wyoming’s 23 counties have GOP registration topping 80 percent, and the statewide figure is about 70 percent Republican.
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