Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney celebrated a major fundraising haul last week when this year’s first-quarter filing eclipsed $10 million raised for the endangered lawmaker in a competitive primary. After Cheney raised more than $2.3 million this year alone, her campaign war chest with $6.8 million in cash on hand four months before the GOP contest headlined the swamp-focused Politico’s Playbook.
“In previous cycles, it was common for Cheney to raise a few hundred thousand dollars in a quarter, mostly from Wyoming residents,” the Playbook authors wrote on Monday last week, adding, “with the national attention her race has received, money has poured in from across the country.”
The newsletter linked to an analysis of Cheney’s campaign finances from OpenSecrets published before 2022’s first-quarter filing on April 15. Money from California and Texas now make up the bulk of the Wyoming lawmaker’s funding.
Cheney’s re-election bid is also being financed by the same Democrat donors who bankrolled the Lincoln Project. Her first-quarter filing for this year showed little difference, with Cheney raking more from her “constituents” in northern Virginia, where she spends much of her time, than the constituents who first sent her to Washington in 2016.
According to a Federalist analysis of Cheney’s campaign finances to date based on public records from the Federal Election Commission (FEC), less than 10 percent of the dollars Cheney raised came from Wyoming residents. Only about 2 percent of Cheney’s total contributors were from her home state.
In contrast, donors in Northern Virginia with fundraisers featuring Utah Sen. Mitt Romney sent more than $880,000 to the campaign, a full six figures higher than the $780,000 raised among Wyomingites. Cheney raised more than $760,000 from California and more than $720,000 from Texas.
The numbers come at little surprise as Cheney, deeply unpopular in Wyoming, where the GOP no longer recognizes her a Republican, snubbed constituents to mingle with reporters on a February visit. Instead, Cheney called the Wyoming voters she ignored “crazies” in an interview with The New York Times.
Cash will remain a primary advantage for the at-large lawmaker defending her seat for a fourth term in the lower chamber. Her Donald Trump-endorsed primary challenger, attorney Harriet Hageman, relies on grassroots support to propel an opposition campaign with national implications. FEC records show Hageman has raised just more than $2 million in the campaign, with little more than $1 million left in cash on hand.
According to Politico, more than $200,000 came from a single fundraiser held with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy after the GOP leader endorsed Hageman in February. Hageman had just $300,000 left in the bank prior to McCarthy’s endorsement, which opened the opportunity to build resources able compete with Cheney’s war chest. More than 100 House Republicans joined McCarthy to fundraise for Hageman last month.
Cheney’s home unpopularity has only deepened as she continues to lead the weaponized Jan. 6 Committee in pursuit of a long-running feud with former President Trump, who carried Wyoming by a wider margin than any other state in the country. The Select Committee, which Cheney serves as vice-chair, has undermined democratic norms and even targeted operatives working to unseat her in Wyoming with no connection to any events in or around the capital on January 6th.
Cheney has failed to garner more 30 percent support among likely primary voters out of three surveys conducted since the 2020 election. The incumbent congresswoman captured 40 percent in a crowded primary for her first nomination in 2016.