The poll was conducted by her challenger’s Super PAC but there’s no reason to doubt the results. It’s in line with a separate poll conducted last week by the Club for Growth, which found Cheney trailing Harriet Hageman by 30. And according to Republican “insiders” who spoke to NBC, it “closely tracks” other polls of the state.
The January 6 crusade has always been a kamikaze mission for Cheney. You can survive in the GOP if you criticize Trump *once* and then dutifully prostrate yourself anew once the base complains…
Regardless of what Republican leaders say about Jan. 6 now, remember what they said then. pic.twitter.com/qrsDLHe8A4
— The Republican Accountability Project (@AccountableGOP) June 9, 2022
…but you can’t survive if you refuse to prostrate yourself altogether. This is the party of Ryan Kelley now. You’ll be tolerated if you’re neutral on the insurrection, but being chronically, stridently anti-insurrection?
That’s a career-ender, buster.
I suppose it’s true that Cheney isn’t “really representing Wyoming anymore” inasmuch as her top priority for the past year has been holding Trump accountable for a coup plot that would have caused the greatest constitutional crisis since 1861 had it succeeded. Hageman will be more in tune with Wyoming’s values.
“I think the race is kind of getting baked in here against Cheney,” said Republican consultant Bill Cubin. “It wouldn’t be so much that she’s participating in the Jan. 6 Committee — and yes a lot of Republicans are uncomfortable with that — but there’s this feeling she’s not really representing Wyoming anymore.”…
“Not only is Cheney getting creamed in the ballot, but Wyoming [Republican primary voters] are clear that there is no room for her to get back into this race,” [Tony] Fabrizio wrote in a memo obtained by NBC News. “A huge 71% majority say they will vote against her, including 66% who will definitely vote against Cheney no matter who she runs against. With only 26% saying they will definitely or probably vote for Cheney, she has hit her ceiling on the ballot.”
Anything can happen in politics but typically the person who’s 47 points underwater in net approval loses.
Jonathan Last has a piece out today urging Democrats to celebrate Mike Pence as an American hero for thwarting the coup attempt on January 6. That’s not because Last feels Pence hasn’t gotten his due; rather, he thinks Dems forcing the congressional GOP to take a position on whether Pence is a hero would pit Republicans against each other and possibly convince some righty voters to ditch the party. Reading it, it occurred to me that Cheney is executing a similar strategy by running for reelection, whether deliberately or not.
Pence’s attempt to salvage the Republican Party won’t succeed. It will fail not because of any intrinsic problem with the party itself—political parties are merely vessels for the will of the people—but because the problem with the Republican Party is Republican voters. They’re the ones who wanted Trump. They’re the ones who approve of January 6. They’re the ones who insist that Trump actually won in 2020. They’re the ones who are clamoring to nominate him again in 2024…
But political parties are not monoliths. About one-third of Republican voters have a relatively clear-eyed view of what happened on January 6. About one-fifth of Republican voters know that Joe Biden won a sacred landslide victory over Trump in 2020. About one in 20 Republican voters prefers Pence to Trump for 2024.
Democrats ought to be trying to pry these voters away from the Republican Party in the event that Trump runs again. By making it clear that the Democratic Party appreciates Mike Pence as a hero of democracy—and that GOP lawmakers do not—they might just persuade a small but crucial percentage of these Pence Republicans to cross over in 2024.
That’s the story of the last year of Liz Cheney’s life, no? Every Democrat in the House has warm things to say about the courageous stand she’s taken by joining the January 6 committee. And virtually every Republican in the House besides Adam Kinzinger is either silent about her or contemptuous. If you’re a Republican voter who feels even a small pang of disgust at Trump and the insurrection — and there are a few, as Last notes — it’s impossible not to find the wider party’s reaction to her revolting. Cheney is no Pence in the sense that she’s far less well-known than he is and never faced a single momentous choice the way Pence did, but I’d bet good money there are some centrist Republicans who’ll reconsider what’s left of their party affiliation after she loses by 50 points or whatever in Wyoming.
I’ve always thought that’s why she insisted on running despite the long odds, in fact. It’s not just a matter of her being a “fighter” who refuses to retire in the name of ducking a battle with Trump. It’s a matter of her wanting to show the “soft Republican” voters across the rest of the country what the GOP is now. If she gets obliterated in her primary, some of those voters may ask themselves, “Do I want to be a member of a party that prefers Ryan Kelley to Liz Cheney?” How many of those people cross over in 2024?
I’ll leave you with another interesting poll with January 6 undertones that’s circulating today. The Deseret News finds that Mike Lee leads Evan McMullin in Utah by just four points, 41/37, with 19 percent undecided. Democrats shrewdly decided not to nominate a candidate in Utah this year, indirectly steering their voters to support McMullin instead. McMullin leads Lee among independents at the moment and takes 29 percent of the Republican vote, giving him a fighting chance. Utahns are a little different from the rest of America in that they seem not to have totally lost their civic bearings, which may make Lee’s insurrection-curiosity more of a liability than an asset there. I suspect he’ll hold on and win but it’s good that he has to sweat a little, at least.