Polls Spell Very Bad News for Liz Cheney

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Posted: Aug 01, 2021 2:00 PM
Polls Spell Very Bad News for Liz Cheney

Source: Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP

It is increasingly looking like Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who former President Donald Trump has described as the "most quoted Republican in the history of our country by Democrats," will lose her seat. 

A Friday statement from Trump comes after he met with two primary challengers, Wyoming House Rep. Chuck Gray and Cheyenne businessman Darin Smith, according to Paul Bedard, the Washington Secrets columnist for The Washington Examiner.

The statement from Trump emphasizes his preference that Cheney only have one primary challenger, so that it is easier to defeat her. It's worth noting that Wyoming has open primaries, so Democrats and Independents can vote. 

Bedard also cited polling he had access to, from a variety of sources, to illustrate just how much trouble Cheney is in. 

As he wrote:

In polling data provided to Secrets, just 23% of regular primary Republicans plan to vote for her, 77% said they won’t.

And as bad, her image as a conservative like her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, has also been hurt. In the McLaughlin & Associates survey, 53% described her as liberal, and only 26% labeled her conservative.

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Polling from two Republican challengers angling for Trump’s endorsement shows she is in trouble. Both show that she lacks the support of 7 in 10 Republican primary voters.

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McLaughlin, Gray’s pollster, has worked for Trump. Pollster John McLaughlin’s survey found Gray and Bouchard as the top challengers to Cheney. There are also two others considering a challenge.

In a full six-person race, Cheney has 23%, Gray and Bouchard 17%, Smith 7%, and 30% are undecided.

In a three-person election with Cheney, Gray, and Smith, Gray came out on top with 25%, Cheney at 22%, and Smith at 13.7%.

In a two-way race, as Trump wants, Gray would beat Cheney 63% to 24%. Smith would also beat her, 54% to 22%.

A Trump endorsement would boost Gray to 66%.

McLaughlin said Trump has a 79% approval rating in Wyoming, a state he easily beat President Joe Biden in last year.

In his analysis, McLaughlin said, “It is very clear that Wyoming voters are looking for solid, conservative Trump supporter Chuck Gray to defeat Liz Cheney for Congress. These voters want an active, aggressive and unified campaign for Trump supporter Chuck Gray to hold Liz Cheney accountable for her bad vote on impeachment and her current attacks on President Trump on the January 6th committee. They want to see Liz Cheney defeated next year.”

Secrets was also provided less detailed polling from Smith’s team, which showed similar figures for his potential lead over Cheney. Smith’s polling by Remington Research Group showed him ahead of Gray in a primary.

Cheney is a largely derided figure among many in the GOP now, with many considering her to be a RINO, or worse. In May she was ousted from her leadership position as the House Republican Conference Chair and replaced by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY).

Shortly after her ousting, polls were released confirming that Republican respondents overwhelmingly wanted her gone from leadership. A poll from CBS was particularly illustrative, which showed by 80-20 percent respondents agreed with Cheney's removal.

She and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), a fellow Republican who has similarly criticized Trump to such an extent, both voted in favor of impeaching Trump in January. They were the only two Republicans to vote in favor of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's select committee to investigate the January 6 Capitol riot, and are the only two Republicans serving on the committee.

However, Cheney does have her own advantages. "Meanwhile, Cheney has upped her attention to state and local issues while leading on the Jan. 6 inquiry called for by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She also has a substantial financial war chest unmet by any challenger," Bedard acknowledged. 

On July 16, AP reported that "US Rep. Liz Cheney gains $1.9M in record fundraising quarter."