It looks like Republican voters, at least in Wyoming, are still showing loyalty to Donald Trump.
U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney and one of few vocally anti-Trump Republicans, lost her primary on Tuesday night. She was the last of the Republican House members who voted to impeach Trump to face primary voters in her state. Her Trump-endorsed challenger, Harriet Hageman, will move onto the general election.
Cheney’s larger focus this year has been her work on the congressional committee investigating the Capitol riot on January 6. “The nine of us have done more to prevent Trump from ever regaining power than any group to date,” Cheney told her fellow panelists, according to the New York Times. “We can’t let up.”
Cheney’s outspoken opposition to Trump and her goal of keeping him from regaining the White House became an integral issue in the primary and a test of sorts as to how much power Trump still has over the Republican base. Her better-known dad cut a supportive ad for her campaign about two weeks ago, in which he called Trump a “coward” and a “threat to our republic” who tried to “steal the last election, using lies and violence to keep himself in power.”
Even with Dick Cheney’s last-minute show of support, the possibility of losing was an obvious one. One poll put Cheney down 20 points to Hageman. Cheney’s website included a section for Independents and Democrats in the state with instructions on how to change your party affiliation in time to vote for her. (In Wyoming, you can change your party affiliation up until the day of the primary.) Teton County, a blue bastion in the state, actually has more registered Republicans than Democrats for the first time in two years—nearly 1,000 people have changed their party affiliation to Republican. But it wasn’t enough to save Cheney’s House seat.
“I think today, no matter the outcome is, is certainly the beginning of a battle that is going to continue to go on. And as a country, we’re facing challenging and difficult times. We’re facing a moment where our democracy really is under attack and under threat,” Cheney told CBS News after she voted on Tuesday.
The general consensus among the pundit class, Tuesday, was that a loss for Cheney would speak volumes about where the Republican Party is headed and how closely it’s now aligned with Donald Trump, since her willingness to speak out against him clearly put the nail in the coffin of her political career.