GOP Rep. Liz Cheney may be the mainstream media’s favorite Republican, particularly given her work on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Jan. 6 committee. In her native Wyoming, however, she’s a bit less popular.
According to the Casper Star-Tribune, a straw poll among state GOP activists taken Saturday by the Wyoming Republican State Central Committee saw Cheney lose big, with 59 votes for her top challenger in this year’s GOP primary, Harriet Hageman, compared to only six votes for the incumbent representative.
The movement to unseat the GOP’s biggest RINO began almost as soon as Cheney announced she would be voting to impeach then-President Donald Trump in January 2021 — and it’s something we’ve stayed on top of here at The Western Journal. We’ll keep bringing you updates to one of the most critical primary races in the country.
The straw poll was taken among 71 of the 74 individuals who make up the state central committee — three representatives from each Wyoming county and members of the state party. That means it can, in certain cases, be deceiving. In a 2020 straw poll, for instance, now-Sen. Cynthia Lumis lost to the GOP chairman of Sheridan County — then went on to beat him by a nearly 50-point margin in the actual primary, the Star-Tribune reported.
“I think it’s a good sign. It’s not an endorsement, but these are the county activists,” Hageman, a lawyer who has been endorsed by Trump, said after the straw poll, according to the Star-Tribune. “There will be lots of polls over the next eight months [before the August primary], and they will all show different things.
The state party can’t officially endorse anyone, although Natrona County Committeeman Joe Mcginley told the Star-Tribune the vote “smells like an endorsement to me.”
“Whether that is the true intention of the state … or not, that’s what it appears to be.”
Granted, Cheney and the state GOP have been at loggerheads of late. According to the Star-Tribune, Cheney used the anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to note that there “are people in the state party apparatus of my home state who are quite radical. And some of those same people include people who were here on Jan. 6th, include a party chair who has toyed with the idea of secession.”
“If Ms. Cheney wants to continue to pick a fight with the majority of Wyoming Republicans and accuse the vast majority of being deplorables and radicals, then of course she can continue that foolish ploy,” the Wyoming GOP said in a statement in response, according to The Washington Times.
“She can also continue to engage in the politics of personal destruction with other Republicans – which is her specialty and only real qualification to sit on the farcical January 6th Commission — but that is unlikely to improve her position in the polls.”
Moreover, when it comes to the 196,179 registered Republicans who’ll be voting on Cheney’s fate this coming August, they don’t seem too thrilled with her, either.
Polling in the race has been scant thus far, but it doesn’t look good for Cheney. According to the Washington Examiner, Hageman was up by 20 points in a December poll, 38 percent to 18 percent. While that poll had a large number of undecideds, a poll taken in July found only 23 percent of potential GOP primary voters said they would vote for Cheney against 77 percent who wouldn’t, the Examiner reported.
And then there’s this number: 70.4. That’s Donald Trump’s percentage of the vote in Wyoming in the 2020 election, vs. Joe Biden’s 26.7 percent. Given that Wyoming only has one House seat and Trump enjoyed widespread support in the state — particularly among Republicans — this doesn’t augur well for Cheney’s chances in August.
Donald Trump Jr. was more than happy to call attention to the results of the straw poll and revel in them, it’s worth noting. The former president’s son tweeted Saturday that “Republican voters in Wyoming are sick and tired of being represented by a Pelosi puppet like Liz Cheney.”
And, keep in mind, Wyoming has a sore-loser law — meaning that if Cheney doesn’t win the GOP nomination, she can’t run as an independent in the November race.
That’s a problem, since Cheney has taken considerable effort to brand herself as an anti-Trumper gallantly trying to save the Republican Party from itself, presumably so we can go back to the old days where RINOs like John Boehner and Paul Ryan were the ones calling the shots.
Her work on the Jan. 6 committee, which is little more than a kangaroo court, has been a thoroughgoing disgrace. While she’s beloved of the mainstream media right now, that attention is likely to go away if she’s not an officeholder. If she was setting herself up for higher office by tapping into some kind of anti-Trump strain in the Republican Party, it’s become increasingly apparent the David Frenches and Jonah Goldbergs of the world have far more representation on podcasts than they do among Republican voters.
That means unless President Biden takes New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s insane advice and drops Kamala Harris for a Biden-Cheney ticket in 2024, this election is all she’s got.
A poor showing in a straw poll of activists can shrugged off as just being party activists. When the rest of the available numbers look equally dire, however, that’s a fairly good sign we’re about to see the sidelining of Liz Cheney from American political life.