What are Liz Cheney’s chances of winning her Wyoming primary election?
With the primary on Tuesday looming, the Trump critic is set for defeat but says she won’t go down without a fight.
Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney may have days left as an official candidate on Capitol Hill. Her primary against attorney Harriet Hageman is coming up and the polling suggests she is on course for defeat.
After becoming an outspoken opponent against former president Donald Trump, Cheney has become increasingly isolated in the GOP as the Trumpian wing dominates. This has made her the main target for Trump-supporters and a priority to be kicked out of the party structures. Of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in the wake of the January 6 riots, only two are seeking reelection.
Back in July, Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, said: “The big story is Liz Cheney is going to get beat… That’s a foregone conclusion.”
Cheney’s hope rests upon Democrat cross-over votes. Andrew Garner, a professor working on American and comparative politics at the University of Wyoming, told The Hill that voting could be closer than expected due to difficiculties in accurate polling.
“[Democratic cross over votes] is such a unique situation to this particular contest, and so I’m not entirely sure how well the polls will be able to measure that,” he said.
Cheney faces backlash over criticism of Trump
Despite her family ties with the Republican Party establishment, Cheney’s willingness to call out the lies pushed by the former President has cost her dearly in terms of GOP support. Cheney is a key member of the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol and she previously voted for Trump to be impeached.
In response, Trump has thrown his considerable political weight between Hageman, a natural resources lawyer who described Cheney as “despicable.” Despite siding with Trump on 92% of votes during his time in office, as well as having a voting record Conservative PACs regard as positive, Cheney’s refusal to promote the big lie looks set to cost her a seat in Congress.
“I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office,” Cheney told reporters in May 2021.
Last November the Wyoming Republican Party voted to no longer recognise Cheney as a member of the party. The resolution passed the GOP Wyoming Central Committee in a vote of 31-29. It claimed that Cheney had “not only caused massive disruption, distraction and division within the House Republican Conference, but has also willingly, happily, and energetically joined forces with and proudly pledged allegiance to Democrat Speaker of the House Pelosi, as a means of serving her own personal interests.”
Cheney will likely remain in politics
The only way Cheney could retain her seat is if she manages to attract a significant number of Democrats and independents to vote in the Republican primary, which is allowed under state law. However with such pro-Trump sentiment in the state it would take an astonishing reversal. In 2020 President Trump secured 70% of the presidential vote in Wyoming, a sure sign that his influence remains.
But while there is little chance of her retaining the current seat she will likely remain a key figure in Republican politics. Her father, Dick Cheney, served as Vice President under George W. Bush and the family name is still a draw within the party.
Even during the recent January 6 hearings she has made clear that Trump’s hold over the GOP is not infinite and that his influence will wane.
During the first hearing she scolded GOP colleagues, saying: “There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.”