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Tipsheet

Is She Trying to Lose Her Seat? Liz Cheney 'Doesn't Care' What Pro-Trump GOP Voters Think of Her

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

There's still a little over two months before Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) squares off against Trump-backed primary challenger Harriet Hageman, but we're increasingly left wondering if she even wants to keep her seat anymore. On Friday, Mike Lillis for The Hill wrote that "Liz Cheney doesn’t care what the pro-Trump GOP thinks of her." That doesn't bode well for her chances for winning when she's already trailing behind Hageman in the polls. Lillis' piece came shortly after the first January 6 select committee public hearing took place.

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As Lillis begins his piece:

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) didn’t make any new friends in the GOP with her star turn bashing former President Trump in prime time on Thursday night. It doesn’t bother her a bit.

Cheney, a dynastic figure who sits in the House seat once held by her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, used her high perch on the Jan. 6 select committee to accuse Trump of abusing the powers of the presidency to orchestrate nothing short of an attempted coup — explosive charges that have reinforced her status as Public Enemy No. 1 in the eyes of the MAGA faithful.

The much-watched hearing has further complicated Cheney’s path to reelection in deep-red Wyoming, a Trump stronghold where her primary opponent has the energetic backing of the 45th president, who is actively stumping against the mutinous incumbent.

This is hardly the only instance of dismissiveness against her base. A deep dive report from The New York Times in April quoted Cheney as saying "I’m not going to convince the crazies and I reject the crazies," about the state's Republican leadership, which has also backed Hageman. 

The report mentioned that she "hasn’t appeared at a state Republican Party function in more than two years and hasn’t been to an in-person event for any of the party’s 23 county chapters since 2020."

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Rep. Cheney officially declared she was running for re-election a few weeks ago, as I covered at the time. At that same time, though, came a report from POLITICO indicating she's not faring too well in the polls. According to a poll from Club for Growth, which opposes Cheney but has not endorsed a challenger, has her at 26 percent compared to Hageman's 56 percent.

A Friday report from Marc Caputo with NBC News had another take on the hearings. "Cheney's Jan. 6 committee spotlight burns her in Wyoming primary," his headline read. Caputo mentioned another poll, as well as a mention about how it's more than just her role on the select committee:

Cheney is trailing her leading GOP primary rival, attorney Harriet Hageman by 28-56 percent, according to a survey chartered by the Hageman-backing super PAC, Wyoming Values, and obtained by NBC News. The survey was conducted by Tony Fabrizio, who also polls for former President Trump. It closely tracks other polls in the state, according to Republican insiders.

“I think the race is kind of getting baked in here against Cheney,” said Republican consultant Bill Cubin. “It wouldn’t be so much that she’s participating in the Jan. 6 Committee — and yes a lot of Republicans are uncomfortable with that — but there’s this feeling she’s not really representing Wyoming anymore.”

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Caputo also mentions that "Some Cheney supporters privately echo the same sentiment, but her campaign vehemently denies that she’s not home often enough or that she has no way to come back before the Aug. 16 primary," but that would seem to conflict somewhat with The Times' report.

It's worth noting that Cheney has raised more money than Hageman, but Hageman has raised more from Wyoming residents. Andrew Stanton writing for Newsweek mentions the poll from Wyoming Values, as well as how the fundraising numbers look:

When it comes to fundraising, Cheney has raised more money than any of her opponents so far. But much of the money her campaign has raised comes from out-of-state donors.

Cheney raised more than $10 million for her reelection campaign by the end of March, while Hageman raised just more than $2 million, according to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

But Hageman has raised more money from individual contributors who live in Wyoming, according to the FEC. Hageman has raised $543,094, while Cheney has raised $255,336 from Wyoming residents—another indicator that Hageman could potentially have the voter support to defeat Cheney in the primary.

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Since Cheney announced her re-election bid, former President Donald Trump held a rally in Casper, Wyoming, along with Hageman and several other Republicans. 

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