Establishment Uniparty Deploys Last-Ditch Tactics to Save Liz Cheney from Defeat

WASHINGTON, DC JUNE 28: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as the House Jan. 6 select committee holds a hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, June 28, 2022. (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Establishment Republicans are trying to save Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from defeat in the highly contested August 16 GOP primary by deploying last-ditch tactics to stave off a Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman victory.

While Hageman is ahead in the polls and predicted to win by a large margin, big-money donors and grassroots organizers from the establishment uniparty are working to rescue Cheney’s campaign, Axios reported. That campaign  has been in a downward spiral since she allied herself with the partisan January 6 Committee.

Those involved in defending Cheney are reportedly Jeff Larson, chairman of America Rising, Julia Griswold Dailer, a former Trump White House aide, Wyomingites Defending Freedom and Democracy (WDFD), and Conservatives for a Strong America (CFSA).

WDFD is focused on publishing digital and TV ads that push Democrats to vote for Cheney in the open Republican primary, a tactic that has also been deployed by Cheney’s own campaign but which Joseph Barbuto, the chairman of the Wyoming Democrat Party, believes will not be effective.

CFSA is deploying a different tactic to defeat Hageman. The group is trying to elevate outside contenders that do not have a chance of victory in order to split the vote. The strategy means Cheney could receive a larger percentage of the total vote than Hageman.

JACKSON, WY - JUNE 14: Republican congressional candidate Harriet Hageman meets attendees at a rally at the Teton County Fair & Rodeo Grounds on June 14, 2022 in Jackson, Wyoming. Hageman, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, is running against Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) in the August 16 GOP primary. (Photo by Natalie Behring/Getty Images)

Congressional candidate Harriet Hageman meets attendees at a rally at the Teton County Fair & Rodeo Grounds on June 14, 2022, in Jackson, Wyoming. (Natalie Behring/Getty Images)

“WDFD has reported spending $188,428 in support of Cheney since last month, making it the fourth-largest independent spender in the Wyoming primary race — and the top one backing Cheney,” Axios detailed. “CFSA has spent another $47,108 attacking Hageman, according to FEC records.”

Though Cheney has a web of support from the establishment, Hageman has the momentum. Hageman has received $800,000 worth of help from Wyoming Values, which is allied with former President Trump’s leadership PAC. The challenger is also endorsed by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and former Wyoming Rep. Barbara Cubin.

According to PredictIt odds, Cheney has only a two cent chance on the dollar of winning. Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman is favored by 97 cents on the dollar. Polling also shows Cheney well behind Hageman, by about 30 points.

“The big story is Liz Cheney is going to get beat,” Brad Coker, managing director of the polling firm Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, said, reflecting on a primary poll released in June. “That’s a foregone conclusion.”

Cheney’s alliance with the establishment extends to the partisan January 6 Committee, which has sought to investigate the January 6 incident without focusing on the alleged FBI informants at the Capitol. Cheney is also one of ten Republicans who voted to impeach Trump. If she loses the primary, only two or three impeachment Republicans will remain in office.

Last year, the Wyoming Republican Party “excommunicated” Cheney from the state party by no longer recognizing her as a Republican.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter and Gettr @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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