Nobody thought Malcolm Wallop had any chance to win the Wyoming Senate race in 1976 until a port-o-potty changed the election and helped shape politics in the Cowboy State for the next four decades.

Wallop started the campaign trailing the incumbent U.S. Senator Gale McGee by over 40 percent in the polls. McGee won the Senate seat in 1958 and was re-elected by a wide margin in 1964 and 1970. Political insiders considered him a lock to win another term before Wallop launched a series of controversial television commercials.

"Everywhere you look these days the Federal Government is there telling you what they think, telling you what they think you ought to think, telling you how you ought to do things," the narrator said while a cowboy saddled up his horse.

Then the camera panned to a pack donkey carrying a port-o-potty.

"Now they say if you don't take the portable facility with you on a roundup, you can't go," the narrator proclaimed.

The graphic description of Federal overreach struck a chord with Wyoming voters, sending Wallop to the Senate where he served three terms. 42 years later, candidates continue to stoke the fire of anti-government sentiment and the port-o-potty commercial remains the most effective television ad in the history of Wyoming politics.

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