Rep. Liz Cheney Likely To Lose Wyoming Primary To Trump-Backed Rival

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney is trailing behind attorney Harriet Hageman, who backs meritless claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
Posted at 6:48 PM, Aug 16, 2022

The Cheney legacy in Wyoming is likely coming to an end Tuesday night, brought down by a former friend.

Recent polling shows Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney is trailing attorney Harriet Hageman by nearly 30 points.

This dark red state sent Cheney — one of the most conservative members of the House – to Washington three times and supported her as she rose through party ranks to the number three spot in leadership.

Hageman’s support for Cheney, following the same trajectory as most Wyomingites, went from proudly introducing her as a friend to claiming Cheney "... clearly doesn’t know what being a representative means. She does not represent us."

Some believe Cheney's fall from grace can be pinpointed Jan. 6 and the fallout from it. She has been the loudest Republican voice in the room condemning former President Donald Trump’s role in the insurrection, from her vote to impeach to her front and center spot on the select committee investigating the attack.

"I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office," Cheney said. 

That hasn’t sat well with constituents at home in a state that handed the former president nearly 70% of the vote in 2020.

But Cheney hasn’t shied away from her animosity to the former president and is instead finding support in the most unlikely of places.

Teton County is the darkest blue county in the state, and Wyoming allows voters to switch party affiliation during the primary. That’s where Cheney has spent the final stretch of campaigning, and it’s working with at least some voters who say she's the better choice between the two Republicans.

"I wanted to change my party affiliation to vote for someone who actually cares about democracy," voter Mike Calabrese said. "That'd be Liz Cheney by the way. She at least had enough guts to stand up for principle. And, I disagree completely with almost all her particularly her economic policies, and I've written her that."

Calabrese says every Democrat he knows has gone in to switch their party affiliation and vote for Cheney, but he doesn’t think it’ll be enough.

"There's just contempt for anything that Trump speaks against, so he's got a huge contingent in the state," Calabrese said. "It's off the charts. It was full of vitriol and conspiracy theories. There's just nothing healthy about it whatsoever, even at our state legislature."

Hageman backs the meritless claims that the 2020 election was rigged, but her supporters say it’s more than just her standing behind the former president. Many believe her work fighting the federal government to protect natural resources makes her the right fit for their state.