Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, holds a significant lead in a potential primary matchup against former Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) should the two face off in a primary for the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY).
A poll conducted by GOP firm the Tarrance Group, obtained by Breitbart News, found Cheney leads Lummis 56 percent to 34 percent–a 22-point lead. Among definite voters, Cheney leads by 12 percent–31 percent to 19 percent.
Cheney also has majority support among extremely and very conservative voters at 64 percent, and among Trump Republicans at 68 percent. Pro-lifers in a Cheney v. Lummis battle back Cheney with 61 percent, too, the poll found.
The survey was conducted from June 22 to June 24, and surveyed 502 likely GOP primary voters and has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.
“Congresswoman Cheney would begin a U.S. Senate race in a strong position,” pollster Ed Goeas wrote in a memo about the survey obtained by Breitbart News. “Republican primary voters are pleased with her job performance. Additionally, the President could play a decisive role in this primary, particularly among high propensity GOP primary voters.”
The Senate seat has opened up in the wake of Enzi’s announcement in early May that he would retire. Speculation has mounted that Cheney, Lummis, or both may vie for Enzi’s seat in the Senate. Cheney, currently the number three official in House GOP leadership as the House GOP conference chairwoman for the minority, has quickly risen through the ranks since she was first elected to represent Wyoming’s at-large congressional district in the 2016 election.
When the news broke that Enzi was retiring, Politico reported that Republicans on both sides of Capitol Hill began vying for Cheney’s affection–attempting to woo her to either stay in the House or shoot for the Senate seat.
“I texted her when I found out about it and said, ‘Hey, you’ve got some decisions to make, but we love having you here,’” Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) said, for instance, according to Politico. “That just shows how effective of a legislator she is, and how good a person she is if everyone wants her to stay.”
“We actually were in the airport together and I just encouraged her and told her I was going to say a little prayer for her,” Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) countered, according to Politico. “I encouraged her to look at it, that we would love to have her over here.”
Lummis, meanwhile, was a member of the House Freedom Caucus–its only woman at one point–and a rising conservative star as well when she was in the House for several terms. But, if this poll is accurate and it appears to be, it looks like Wyoming voters are more pleased with Cheney at least at this stage–meaning it could set up a battle if the two run against each other. Lummis has filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) papers for a Senate candidacy, but has not announced such a candidacy at this stage.
According to The Hill newspaper, Lummis’ treasurer says there is no news to report regarding a Senate bid from her yet.
“Cynthia will make an announcement regarding her plans in the near future. So, the news of the day, as far as Cynthia Lummis is concerned, is there is no news yet,” Bill Cubin, the treasurer of Lummis for Wyoming, told The Hill.
Cheney has not yet said what she will do, whether she will stay in the House or seek the Senate seat. But for now, most outlets observe that the field appears to be “frozen” until such time as Cheney–who according to this polling data would be the immediate frontrunner in a contested primary–makes a decision.
“In sum, Liz Cheney would be the clear front-runner if she entered this race,” Goeas wrote at the end of his memo. “She has an impressive job approval rating as a Member of Congress. She has a well defined and strongly favorable image with voters. In either a crowded 4-way primary or a 2-way race with Lummis, Cheney has a double-digit lead, including a substantial advantage among voters who have made a definite choice.”
There is good news for President Trump in this poll, too, in that his approval rating in Wyoming is sky high. “President Trump has a 78% job approval rating, including 65% of GOP voters who strongly approve,” Goeas wrote in the memo. “His job approval rating is notably higher among very conservative voters (97%), pro-lifers (90%), and those who approve of Cheney’s job performance (93%).”
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