Cheney loses primary after becoming face of GOP opposition to Trump

She has stood against Trump, whom she has repeatedly described as a threat to democracy, a central part of her political identity – and it condemned her to a double-digit defeat in strongly pro-Trump Wyoming . But Cheney, who conceded to Hageman on Tuesday night, signaled she would not leave, telling fans that Tuesday night was just the start.

“I’ve said since January 6 that I will do whatever it takes to ensure that Donald Trump is never near the Oval Office again, and I mean it,” Cheney said at the end of his speech. “It’s a fight for all of us together.”

Hailing from a state that voted for Donald Trump by more than 40 percentage points in 2020, Cheney is an often lonely face of intra-party resistance against the former president. On Tuesday night, she framed her fight for her party’s soul as an existential one – repeatedly invoking the Civil War and President Abraham Lincoln as a model, while chastising Republican job seekers who followed Trump.

But even with Trump’s successful revenge mission, Cheney’s next steps after Tuesday night are shrouded in mystery. She made no explicit announcement about future plans, but indicated she would seek to target Holocaust deniers within her own party while looking like a presidential candidate in all but name.

“This primary election is over, but now the real work begins,” she said. “It has been said that the long arc of history bends towards justice and freedom. True, but only if we bend it.

It comes as his team increasingly takes control of his anti-Trump message. Her campaign dodged most of the media when she cast her vote, heading at the last minute to a different polling place across town from where most of the media was camped.

Instead of the typical media coverage of a voting candidate, Cheney played pick and choose with news outlets: CBS News was given advance notice to set up shop 15 minutes away at the Teton County Library with a camera and a correspondent loans. later cheney tweeted his own take on the momentadding a veiled shot at Trump: “The challenges we face demand serious leaders who will keep their oath and uphold the Constitution, come what may.”

A Cheney aide attributed the secrecy surrounding his polling place to security concerns, saying his events are not “announced or informed in advance, except in the rarest cases where we have been explicit about the fact that the time and place should not be published or shared”.

The moment fits a booming pattern for Cheney: As her state’s pro-Trump GOP electorate prepares to kick her ass, she’s turning to a legacy media merry-go-round to help bolster her brand opposition to the baseless lies of the former president. about a stolen election.

Cheney also signaled that she would go after not just Trump, but his enablers within the Republican Party.

“Today, as we gather here, there are Republican gubernatorial candidates who deny the outcome of the 2020 election and who may refuse to certify future elections if they oppose the results. We have candidates for Secretary of State who may refuse to report the actual results of the popular vote in the upcoming election. And we have congressional candidates, including here in Wyoming, who refuse to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the 2020 elections, and suggest states overturn the result,” Cheney said, adding that “no American” should support them.

Cheney’s status as Trump’s main political enemy stems from her being the most senior Republican who voted to impeach him after the Jan. 6 uprising, coupled with her role on the House Select Committee. Chamber charged with investigating the former president’s guilt that day.

It caused the dramatic implosion of his once booming House career, fueling his ousting from the GOP leadership and ostracism from the party in general. But Cheney’s efforts to spread her message nationally, rather than locally, have sparked widespread speculation that this is now the basis of her plan to run for president – a prospect she has not not ruled out.

“No one would screw the whole state of Wyoming without another plan,” said Kasey Mateosky, a Republican running for Teton County commissioner.

Cheney’s race was the last outstanding primary race of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 assault. Only six of those members sought re-election, and only two won their primaries and qualified for their general elections – David Valadao of California, which is in a swing neighborhood, and Washington of Dan Newhouse — sending a clear signal of Trump’s iron grip on the very party out of power.

It was against these national political headwinds that Cheney staked his future.

For fellow House Republicans and residents of Jackson Hole, it was clear that Cheney knew his role on the Jan. 6 panel — during the presidential nomination. Nancy Pelosi – would cause irreparable damage within his party. But she still leaned into the work of the committee, co-chairing dramatic hearings on national television.

And in a sign that her campaign knows she has alienated much of her conservative support in the state, Cheney has sought to encourage Democrats and independents to register as Republicans and participate in the primary. GOP. It created a bizarre coalition of now supportive liberals — at least two Democratic members of Congress cut videos urging Wyoming Democrats to switch parties to support her — who have long despised the Cheney family and the old guard of the Republican Party.

Cheney had outplayed his main challenger well, with the backing of former party leaders like his father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former President George W. Bush and the senator. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) — all of whom have seen their standing diminish amid the Trump-fueled Republican Party takeover. And while Cheney had spent millions trying to keep her seat, her fundraising far exceeded what she spent – potentially leaving millions in the bank for her future political endeavors.

Cross-voting is notoriously difficult to measure, and even more difficult to achieve meaningful amounts. But voter registration records in Wyoming showed at least a nominal increase in Republican registrants over the summer, while Democratic numbers fell.

Registration numbers were even more dramatic in Teton County, the bluest and most liberal part of the state. It was in this touristy, touristy part of Wyoming — now known for its wealthy foreigners pushing its less wealthy residents further — that Cheney voted on primary day. And it was Cheney County’s best Tuesday night.

Palin vying for a return to Alaska

Tuesday’s other big election will be in Alaska, where former Gov. Sarah Palin is vying for a political comeback. Palin is running in the special election to fill the remainder of the term of late GOP Rep. Don Young.

Palin’s time as a star at the center of the Republican Party burned hot and fast: In the space of about three years, she was elected governor of Alaska by defeating the incumbent, ascended the presidential ticket of 2008 and eventually resigned from office in 2009.

His chance to return is complicated by Alaska’s new election format, with the special election being the first held under the new rules. In the state, all candidates now run in a multiparty primary, with the top four qualifying for a ranked general election.

Palin finished first in the June primary, followed by fellow Republican Nick Begich, the grandson of the late Democratic congresswoman of the same name, and former Democratic state Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola. (A fourth qualified candidate dropped out.)

But the primary results suggest an ‘instant second round’ of ranked picks will be needed, which would mean a winner won’t be known until state election officials tabulate. picks ranked Aug. 31. Palin took the top spot in June with just 27% support.

The regularly scheduled primaries for November’s general election also take place on Tuesday, including for a full term for the state’s General House seat. GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy is also seeking re-election and faces a group that includes former Gov. Bill Walker, who is running as an independent.

And the senator. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is on the ballot, where she and her Trump-endorsed opponent Kelly Tshibaka are expected to qualify for a ranked general election. Murkowski voted to convict Trump on the impeachment charges Cheney backed last year.

The new format in the state should benefit Murkowski, who is used to attracting a broader coalition of support – including her victory in 2010, where she won a statewide campaign after having lost the Republican Senate primary.


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