In a desperate bid to save her seat, Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney is now courting the same voters who once dragged a statue of her father through the streets of Jackson before toppling it 15 years ago.
“Without an aggressive campaign strategy to win over Democrats, it might seem like a tough sell,” Politico reported from Wyoming on Monday. “…But some Democratic voters in Jackson are embracing her. They appreciate Cheney’s work in Congress prosecuting Trump and they’re ready to switch parties to vote for her.”
The crusade to allow Democrats to hijack the statewide Republican primary in favor of a Cheney signals a sharp turn in the family’s reputation from when Liz Cheney’s vice president father represented Wyoming’s conservative voters in the House for 10 years. After enjoying decades of political popularity in the state and cultivating a family legacy, the Cheney dynasty appears poised to end as the incumbent at-large congresswoman turns to Wyoming’s liberal voters in the northwest to send her back to Washington for a fourth term.
According to a snapshot of the latest polling in the pivotal primary revealed by Axios’s Jonathan Swan, less than 2 in 5 GOP Wyoming voters reported a favorable opinion of former Vice President Dick Cheney. Nearly half, 48 percent, viewed Dick Cheney unfavorably.
Other recent polling has shown Liz Cheney herself underwater among constituents who voted for President Donald Trump in the widest margin of any state in the nation a year and a half ago.
Out of three surveys conducted in the aftermath of the 2020 election, Cheney failed to garner more than 29 percent support among likely primary voters.
Meanwhile, Cheney has remained largely absent from the state she represents as Trump-endorsed primary challenger Harriet Hageman builds grassroots support and earns endorsements from House leadership, which is rare for incumbent challengers. Last month, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced that Hageman had the full encouragement of the GOP’s top brass on her crusade to oust the current congresswoman, who has undermined Democratic norms by weaponizing the lower chamber against political dissidents.
“After spending time with Harriet, it is readily apparent she will always listen and prioritize the needs of her local communities and is focused on tackling our nation’s biggest problems,” McCarthy told The Federalist in February. “I look forward to serving with Harriet for years to come.”
Just days prior to McCarthy’s primary endorsement, Cheney snubbed constituents by meeting with reporters and media executives over party activists, who are growing sour on their congresswoman as she calls them “crazies” in The New York Times.
In November, the Wyoming GOP voted no longer to recognize Cheney as a Republican. The Republican National Committee censured her for “participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse” by leading the Select Committee on Jan. 6.
While Wyoming visits were rare even before Cheney made feuding with the former Republican president a hallmark of her congressional legacy post-Jan. 6, 2021, her presence in the state has now become nearly nonexistent.
“She has shunned town halls and other voter forums in Wyoming’s overwhelmingly red counties in favor of controlled events,” Politico reported, noting that she has an upcoming event next week that will feature “pre-selected questions” answered to an audience of paid ticket holders.
Rebecca Bextel, a 41-year-old Trump supporter who is planning to attend, told the paper that the cost to see her representative is “a slap in the face.”
“We have one person representing us,” Bextel said, “and she shows up in town and it costs $10 to see her. It’s embarrassing.”