Liz Cheney, fighting for political survival, seeks cross-support from Wyoming Democrats

Two people familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN that Cheney has made overtures to Democrats in his state, both through targeted mailings outlining steps to change party affiliation and on his campaign website. , which now has an FAQ on how to “change my party affiliation to register as a Republican so I can vote for Liz.”

Cheney – who has become a thorn in the side of former President Donald Trump from his perch on the House Select Committee investigating the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 and his repeated dismissal of his false claims about an election stolen – a defended the move, saying it provides Wyoming voters with “all the key rules” they need to be aware of to participate in the state’s primary elections.

“I’ve been a conservative Republican since I first voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984. I encourage anyone who is principled and loves our country to exercise their right to vote. And, damn it true, I will continue to give every voter in Wyoming a list of all the key rules for voting in our state,” Cheney said in a statement, first reported by The Washington Post on Thursday.

“If an eligible voter living in Wyoming wishes to become a Republican, they are free to do so. It is their right,” she added.

Wyoming election laws allow voters to change party affiliation up to two weeks before the primary, which will take place on August 16, while also allowing same-day changes at local polls or by voters requesting mail-in ballots. Cheney’s push for support in Democratic corners comes as she fights for her political survival in one of the most closely watched and expensive House Republican primaries this cycle. His opponent, Wyoming businesswoman Harriet Hageman, was endorsed by Trump last September and has proven to be a formidable challenger.

Cheney’s opponents have accused her of turning around after she told the New York Times in February that she would not start a “Democrats for Cheney” group to try to recruit supporters from across the country. political alley.

“It’s not something that I have considered, organized or will organize,” Cheney said at the time. A person close to Cheney pushed back against those claims, noting that such a group “still doesn’t exist.”

Hageman’s team, who first learned of Cheney’s outreach to Democratic voters earlier this week, said they weren’t concerned about the impact it could have in the primary – pointing to the 70 % of Wyoming voters who backed Trump’s 70% support among Wyoming voters in 2020 and the state’s dark red status, and saying there just aren’t enough registered Democrats in the polls to Influence a GOP Primary Contest.

“We anticipated that she would do this and factored in … the possibility that a higher than normal number of Democrats would cross paths [in the primary]and Harriet will still win even if that’s the case,” a top Hageman adviser said.

“We are everywhere and there are not enough democrats [in Wyoming] to make this scheme work,” said a second adviser to Hageman.

While Cheney’s high-profile involvement in recent public hearings into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election result has certainly given him a boost among Democrats, it’s unclear whether it will have any noticeable impact in Wyoming, in particular. Publicly available data from the office of the Secretary of State in Wyoming shows that in the past two months the number of registered Republican voters in the state has increased by 980, while the number of registered Democrats has decreased. of 452. As of June 2022, registered Republicans make up 70% of all registered voters in Wyoming, according to the same data.

“It’s Wyoming, it’s not Georgia,” Hageman’s first adviser added. “It’s the most pro-Trump state there is.”

Cheney’s colleagues, who have previously complained about his criticism of Trump and the Republican Party leadership, said they weren’t surprised by his outreach to Democratic voters given his current status in the GOP.

“It just confirms what everyone already knows: she’s not really accepted as a Republican anymore. She filed as a Republican, but she clearly doesn’t have a path to win as a Republican. Republican,” said Rep. Warren Davidson of Ohio.

Cheney has maintained the support of some notable Wyoming Republicans — including former GOP Senator Alan Simpson, who retired from the upper house in 1997 — and his voting record among conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation remains in the 1980s. But if Trump’s record of ousting incumbent Republicans who voted to impeach him on Jan. 6 is any indication, former Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter could be in trouble later this summer. .

Last week, South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice became the first of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump (a group that includes Cheney) for losing his leading re-election bid. Rice lost to Trump-backed state GOP Rep. Russell Fry by a margin of more than 25%, according to CNN’s election results.

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