Cheney Way Down

The University of Wyoming Survey & Analysis Center conducted a poll of Tuesday’s Republican congressional primary (7/25-8/6; 562 WY-AL likely Republican primary voters; live interview) and sees GOP attorney Harriet Hageman leading US Rep. Liz Cheney* (R-Wilson/Jackson) by a whopping 57-28% count as the candidates wrap up their final campaign activities during the weekend.

Remembering that Wyoming has an open primary where Democrats and Independents can vote in a Republican primary (and vice-versa), Ms. Cheney’s numbers among self-identified Republican voters are even worse, 68-15%, in favor of Ms. Hageman. The Congresswoman gets 98% of the crossover Democratic vote, however, while the Independents are split about evenly with the incumbent leading 43-40% within this voter segment.

The pollsters wanted to see how many people are actually voting for a Cheney opponent, namely Ms. Hageman, or to make a statement of opposition against the Congresswoman. Therefore, after the individual had stated a candidate preference, the interviewer asked the respondents if their vote is to “mainly support (the named candidate) or oppose Liz Cheney? The reverse was asked of those people saying they are voting for the Congresswoman.

Among Republicans voting for Ms. Hageman or one of the other Cheney opponents, 39.5% said they were making a statement of opposition toward the Congresswoman, while 31.5% said they were stating support for their chosen candidate. The remaining 29.0% volunteered that they were doing both. Among the Democrats voting for one of the Republicans other than Cheney, 100% of them said they were doing so to oppose the Congresswoman. Within the Independent non-Cheney voter segment, 47.1% said their vote opposes Cheney versus 21.6% to support their chosen contender.

For those supporting Rep. Cheney, 77.8% of Republicans, 60.0% of Democrats, and 58.8% of Independents said their vote is a sign of support for the Congresswoman. Approaching the closing weekend, it appears clear that Ms. Hageman will defeat Rep. Cheney on Tuesday night.

A Cheney defeat would mean that of the ten Republican House members who voted to impeach former President Trump, only one, Rep. Dan Newhouse* (R-WA) who survived his jungle primary with less than 30% of the vote, is on a track to win re-election. Rep. David Valadao* (R-CA) could also win, but he fared poorly in his jungle primary, barely capturing second place, and currently trails in polling opposite Democratic state Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield). Therefore, his re-election path is more difficult.

Should Ms. Cheney lose on Tuesday as expected, four of the impeachment Republicans would have lost re-nomination (Tom Rice* (R-SC); Peter Meijer* (R-MI); Jaime Herrera Beutler* (R-WA); and Ms. Cheney), and four did not seek re-election (Reps. Adam Kinzinger* (R-IL), Anthony Gonzalez* (R-OH), John Katko* (R-NY), and Fred Upton* (R-MI)).

* denotes the candidate has received an AGC PAC contribution during the 2021-2022 election cycle. 

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