Representative Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, aims to fend off a challenge from GOP opponent Harriet Hageman, who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, but with just 10 days until the primary election, polls show the incumbent Republican in a difficult position.
Cheney drew Trump’s anger after she led nine other House Republicans in voting to impeach him last year for inciting his supporters to attack the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. Since then, the congresswoman has been one of the ex-president’s harshest critics, while also condemning fellow Republicans who continue to align with him.
Last September, Trump endorsed Hageman, an attorney and former Republican National Committee (RNC) member, in her bid to unseat Cheney, who has represented Wyoming’s at-large district since 2017. Although the incumbent Republican managed to rake in nearly $3 million in campaign contributions during the most recent fundraising quarter alone, Hageman appears to have a strong advantage, according to recent polls.
The latest survey data from Wyoming’s Casper Star-Tribune showed Cheney trailing Hageman by a large double-digit margin. The poll, which was conducted with Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy from July 7 to 11, showed Hageman backed by 52 percent of likely Wyoming primary voters compared to just 30 percent who supported Cheney. None of the other Republican primary candidates received more than 5 percent and just 11 percent of respondents were undecided.
It included 1,100 respondents with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.
Another poll from May carried out by the conservative organization Club for Growth, which opposes Cheney’s reelection, showed the incumbent trailing Hageman by 30 points. Hageman had the support of 56 percent of Wyoming Republicans and Cheney had the support of just 26 percent.
The survey included 400 likely GOP primary voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.
In January, a small Republican straw poll showed Cheney losing by a large margin to her Trump-backed challenger. It was held by Wyoming’s GOP State Central Committee and showed Hageman supported by 59 out of the 71 members, the Casper Star-Tribune reported at the time. Cheney only won six votes while other local Republicans garnered some support as well.
Although Cheney was previously popular in Wyoming, Trump consistently appeared to be slightly more popular, according to election results. In 2020, the GOP congresswoman won reelection with nearly 69 percent of the vote, while Trump won the state with nearly 70 percent. In 2016, Cheney won with 64 percent of the vote compared to Trump’s 68 percent.
Some have suggested that Cheney could see a boost in support from Democrats switching their party affiliation to support her. Wyoming currently allows voters to change their party registration up to and on Election Day. However, there are four times as many Republicans in Wyoming as there are Democrats, according to The New York Times. That makes it unlikely that support from liberals would be enough to push her ahead of Hageman.
Notably, of the other nine Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, four (Representatives Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio and John Katko of New York) chose not to seek reelection, two (Representatives Tom Rice of South Carolina and Peter Meijer of Michigan) have lost their primaries to Trump-backed challengers, and two (Representatives Dan Newhouse of Washington state and David Valadao of California) will go on to the general election. The votes in the GOP primary for Washington state Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler’s seat are still being counted and it is too close to call.