Widely hailed for her defense of democracy during the January 6 committee hearings, Liz Cheney seems ready to lose his seat in Congress Tuesday to a rival backed by former US President Donald Trump.
Opinion polls show Cheney trailing conservative lawyer Harriet Hageman – who echoed Trump’s false allegations of widespread voter fraud – in a Republican primary election to decide Wyoming’s only member in the House of Representatives.
Hageman’s victory would continue a recent winning streak for Trump-backed candidates in the congressional primaries and deal a blow to the remnants of the Republican Party establishment.
Cheney is vice chair of the House panel investigating the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. She has used the committee’s televised hearings to eviscerate Trump and members of his own party who remain loyal to him and his “big lie” that election fraudsters caused his 2020 loss to Joe Biden.
The three-term congresswoman has also made the existential struggle for American democracy a central part of her re-election campaign in Wyoming.
In a closing video message, she said, “America cannot stay free if we give up the truth. The lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen is insidious. He attacks those who love their country. It is a door opened by Donald Trump to manipulate Americans into abandoning their principles, sacrificing their freedom, justifying violence, ignoring the decisions of our courts and the rule of law.
But Cheney’s status as an inflexible leader of the anti-Trump resistance has alienated many Wyoming Republicans, many of whom accuse him of putting personal ambition in Washington ahead of his constituents at home.
She trailed Hageman 52% to 30% in a survey of likely primary voters July 7-11 published by Wyoming’s Casper Star-Tribune. A University of Wyoming poll released last week put Hageman’s lead at 29 percentage points.
Supporters of Cheney, the 56-year-old daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, believe she still has a fighting chance if enough Democrats and independents cross paths and vote for her, which is allowed in the primary state system.
But political strategist Terry Sullivan, who led Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign in 2016, sees Cheney’s defeat on Tuesday as a “conclusion for the time being” but sees his efforts as part of a larger battle.
“Liz Cheney is not fighting for re-election – she is fighting for the leadership of the Republican Party,” he told Reuters news agency, noting that some observers have discussed whether Cheney should organize a presidential campaign in 2024. a kind of beginning, not an end.
Cheney supported Trump’s agenda 93% of the time, according to the FiveThirtyEight website. But she was stripped of her role as the No. 3 Republican for voting to impeach him for inciting the attack on the Capitol on January 6.
She was among 10 House Republicans to do so and earn the former president’s ire and vow of revenge. Three others have already lost their primaries – four have decided not to run again and two have won their contests.
The fate of another Trump opponent, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaskawas less clear on Tuesday, as the state’s nonpartisan primary format allows the top four voters to qualify for the Nov. 8 general election, which could lead to a possible rematch for Murkowski and Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka.
Voters in Alaska will also determine whether to choose Sarah Pallina former governor and 2008 running mate whom Trump endorsed for the state’s only House seat.
Palin finished first among 48 candidates to qualify for a special election to replace Congressman Don Young, who died in March at age 88, after 49 years as Alaska’s only House member. .
Palin is on Tuesday’s ballot twice: once in a special election to finish Young’s term and another for a full two-year term in the House beginning in January.
Most of the candidates Trump has backed this election season have triumphed in what his supporters say is a sign of his continued influence over the party as he plans to run for office again in 2024.