(CNN) - Voters in Washington state and Wyoming hold primaries Tuesday, with the Senate contest in Washington and a battle for the open Wyoming governor's seat the most closely watched races of the day.
In Washington, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican candidate Dino Rossi are expected to emerge from a crowded primary field, setting up a November showdown. Under the state's system, the two candidates who receive the most votes regardless of party affiliation move on to the general election. Voting has been underway for two weeks, with Washington primarily a mail-in ballot state.
In many ways, Murray and Rossi have already begun their general election campaigns, focusing their attacks on each other. Polls show a close race in the fall if they both advance.
(CNN) - Sarah Palin put her support behind another "Mama Grizzly" on Friday, announcing her endorsement of State Auditor Rita Meyer for governor of Wyoming.
Meyer is battling three other Republican candidates for the party's nomination. Wyoming's primaries will be held on August 17.
"Voters know that Rita has a unique blend of steel magnolia and mama grizzly," Palin wrote on her Facebook page. "Her true grit has not escaped the eye of other Americans who know that at every level of political office we all benefit with commonsense constitutional conservatives in service."
Washington (CNN) - Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal, a popular two-term Democrat, will not seek another term in office, he announced Thursday.
His decision is good news for Republicans, who are almost guaranteed to pick up the seat come November. Though Freudenthal was re-elected in 2006 with an impressive 70 percent of the vote, Barack Obama was thumped in the state in 2008, losing to John McCain by a 65-33 percent margin.
National Democrats were hopeful that Freudenthal would challenge the state's term-limit laws that prevented him from running again, but he decided against doing so.
Teton Village, Wyoming (CNN) – At the Apres Vous chair lift, Nick Merluzzi is always quick with a smile and a greeting: "Have a good run, sir," is his sendoff to one skier. "How are you doing today?" is his greeting to the two that approach next.
It is a firsthand look at one of Wyoming's leading economic indicators: Visitors to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, which is hoping for a rebound after big drops in consumer spending and confidence hurt business last season.
"This feels good right now," Jerry Blann, the resort's president, said of the early weeks of the season. Christmas week was up from last year, and the resort says bookings for the rest of January and February also look on track to eclipse last year's numbers.
"I think people have been conservative, been holding their pocketbooks pretty close for a while," Blann said. "I think they are ready to jump out."
(CNN) – Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal is backing Barack Obama's White House bid, the Illinois senator's campaign said Wednesday.
"Senator Obama is the Democratic candidate with the openness, honesty and skill to end this vicious cycle of business as usual," Freudenthal said in a statement released by the campaign.
Obama won the Wyoming Democratic caucus on March 8 with 61 percent of the vote.
With 91 percent of the caucus sites reporting, Obama is leading Clinton 58 to 41 percent.
CHEYENNE, Wyoming (CNN) – With more than three-fourths of precincts reporting, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois held a strong lead Saturday in the Wyoming Democratic caucus over his main rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York.
Obama led Clinton 59 percent to 40 percent, with 78 percent of precincts reporting.
The caucus thrust the state - which has only 12 delegates - into the spotlight because of the close race between Obama and Clinton, in which every delegate counts. Although Wyoming typically is not a stop for Democrats looking for delegates to clinch the party's presidential nomination, its numbers could make a different this year because of the delegate deadlock.
Seven delegates will be apportioned based on caucus results, according to John Millin, head of the state Democratic Party. The remaining five will be allocated at the state convention, which will happen Memorial Day weekend in Jackson.
Track county-by-county results here.