Liz Cheney may not be done with politics or Trump after losing Wyoming primary

Rep. Liz Cheney, defeated decisively in Tuesday’s Republican primary in Wyoming after spending 18 months attacking former President Donald Trump, could bounce back into another political career as head of the “Never Trump” wing. ” party.

Republican Harriet Hageman won the primary for the Wyoming congressional seat after voters rejected Ms Cheney’s opposition to the former president. Mr. Trump won the state by 43 percentage points in 2020.

The defeat means Ms. Cheney will soon lose her chair on Capitol Hill, which she has used since the start of 2021 to speak out against Mr. Trump, seek his banishment from the Republican Party and even seek a criminal investigation into her role in challenging the 2020 results. . presidential election.

She voted to impeach Mr. Trump for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the United States Capitol and played a leading role on a Democratic-led committee that sought to blame Mr. Trump for the riot and prove him wrong. tried to overturn the victory of Joseph R. Biden.

Supporters say Ms Cheney is resurfacing after leaving the House as an even bigger threat to Mr Trump – perhaps running against him in the 2024 Republican presidential race or as an independent candidate in the general election who could withdraw enough votes to block Mr. Trump from winning a second term.

“She’s not going away,” Jackson, Wyoming, city council member Jim Rooks told The Washington Times. “She’s going to become the disrupter.”

SEE ALSO: Liz Cheney loses primary after clashing with Trump

Ms Cheney has not discussed her plans despite frequent questions from reporters about a potential White House bid.

“At this point, I haven’t made a decision about 2024,” Ms Cheney told CNN in late July.

She suggested during the same interview that she would try to prevent Mr. Trump from winning another election because “our nation stands on the brink of an abyss, and we all need to think very seriously about the dangers we face. and the threats we face, and we need to elect serious candidates…and we need to be able to come together and stop the very dangerous politics that we have all been living through for the last year and a half.

Ms. Cheney, who has a conservative electoral record, would likely need Democrats to help her advance politically, as much of the Republican Party has turned its back on her. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California spent Tuesday in Wyoming campaigning for Ms Hageman.

Democratic fundraisers have poured thousands into Ms. Cheney’s re-election bid, and some have signaled they would be willing to help Ms. Cheney take on Mr. Trump again.

Dmitri Mehlhorn, an adviser to Democratic megadonor and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, recently told CBS News that Democratic donors could continue to support Ms. Cheney, even though she is staunchly conservative, in case Mr. Trump runs again for office. the Presidency.

SEE ALSO: Liz Cheney compares herself to Abraham Lincoln: ‘Now the real work begins’

“If the people who want to end the peaceful transfer of power to the United States and change America from what it’s always been to something different, if they’ve been there as a political force for a long time, then yes, I could see a long-term alliance with people like Liz Cheney, even if we don’t agree on everything else,” Mehlhorn said.

Mr. Trump continues to wield considerable influence over Republican voters, and party officials largely reject the idea that Ms. Cheney could derail the former president’s third bid for the White House if he decides to run. .

In Wyoming, where Mr. Trump remains popular, Republican voters say Ms. Cheney will struggle to find her place in politics after working almost exclusively to destroy Mr. Trump.

“I think she’s kind of a non-party woman,” said Deb Simpson, a real estate appraiser in Cody whose stepfather, Republican Alan Simpson, served in the US Senate for nearly two decades. “I don’t think conservatives will support her, and I think once she doesn’t have the January 6 committee bullying chair, she’ll find that Democrat support for her dwindles because it’s is the only reason they are supporting her now. If you look at her voting record, she’s pretty conservative.

Polls show voters may be looking for alternatives to Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden. Both men have signaled that they plan to run for president in 2024. Neither has made an official announcement.

A CNN poll released in late July found that 55% of registered Republican and Republican-leaning voters do not want Mr. Trump to become the party’s nominee in 2024. Among Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, 75% said they want their party appoints someone other than Mr. Biden.

“There is an opportunity for an independent to get a lot of votes in 2024,” said Ron Faucheux, president of nonpartisan research group Clarus. “There is strong dissatisfaction on both sides. But Cheney should consider whether his candidacy would help or hurt Trump if he were the Republican nominee. Would she take more votes from Trump or the Democratic nominee?

Kasey Mateosky, a construction company owner who is running for Republican Teton County commissioner, said Tuesday that he did not vote for either Ms. Cheney or Ms. Hageman in the primary and is “wearing a cowboy hat. boy, not a MAGA hat”.

Mr Mateosky said he believed Ms Cheney would not give up on her quest to ban Mr Trump from public office.

“I really expect her to stay on Trump’s streak and be a blunder in the saddle,” Mateosky told The Times. “Maybe her idea is to face him in primary just to get on stage with him and tell him how much of an asshole she feels about him. Maybe that’s all she wants to do: carry on to embarrass him.

Fixed: In a previous version of the story, Dmitri Mehlhorn’s name was misspelled in the second reference.

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Post expires at 9:40am on Saturday August 27th, 2022