Enzi’s major rival within the nine-way main was doctor John Barrasso, who was identified for giving medical recommendation in his many appearances on native TV and radio. Each frontrunners had been viewed as more conservative because the average Simpson, however like the outgoing incumbent, Barrasso supported abortion rights. Get together activist Invoice Maiers would later say, “The professional-life wing didn’t like John as a result of he was pro-choice, at the moment. So that they went and bought Enzi to run. They usually labored laborious for him.” Enzi finally pulled off a 32-30 victory over Barrasso, a margin of simply over 2,100 votes.
Cowboy State Democrats hadn’t held a Senate seat since Gale McGee’s 1976 loss, however Crew Blue hoped that Enzi’s conservative views would give their nominee, former Secretary of State Kathy Karpan, a gap. Karpan had badly misplaced the race for governor two years earlier than, however even Republicans acknowledged she was a powerful contender. Karpan careworn her personal pro-choice views and assist for entry to public lands whereas additionally touting her A-rating from the NRA, and the race was aggressive sufficient to draw outdoors spending from either side.
Enzi and his allies labored to painting Karpan as too liberal for what was already one of the crucial Republican states within the nation and to tie her to Invoice Clinton. Enzi at one level mocked Karpan for showing in searching gear in an advert, arguing, “She’s all in camouflage, however you’ll be able to nonetheless see proper by way of her.” Enzi ended up winning 54-42 as Bob Dole was carrying the state 50-37; since then, no GOP Senate nominee has didn’t take a minimum of 66% of the vote.
Enzi himself shortly grew to become firmly entrenched within the Senate and confronted no critical intraparty opposition throughout most of his tenure; he was even joined within the chamber in 2007 by his outdated rival Barrasso, who had long ago abandoned his old moderate profile. Enzi, although, grew to become offended with Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell round that point for twice passing him over for committee assignments, acknowledging at one point, “Positive. I’m pissed.” All of this led to months of hypothesis in regards to the senator’s 2008 plans, and his staffers even admitted they had no idea whether or not he’d be on the poll once more till halfway by way of what turned out to be his reelection announcement.
Enzi simply received that marketing campaign, however for a time, it seemed like his subsequent race can be far more difficult. The incumbent drew a outstanding main foe in Liz Cheney in 2013, however she struggled from the start to make a case for why voters ought to hearth their well-liked senator. Polls always gave Enzi a huge edge over Cheney, who spent the marketing campaign trying and failing to demonstrate that she understood the state she had solely lately moved to. Cheney ended up pulling the plug on her disastrous marketing campaign in early 2014, and Enzi secured his remaining time period with ease.