Poll: Enzi holds big lead over Liz Cheney

Liz Cheney's (R) Senate bid in Wyoming is off to a sluggish start, according to a new poll that shows incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi (R) with more than twice her support in the GOP primary fight. 

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Enzi leads Cheney by 54 percent to 26 percent, according to the survey released Tuesday by Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling. 

Some of Enzi's advantage is due to his popularity — he has a 66 percent approval rating from Republicans — but he also benefits from voter skepticism about Cheney's recent move to the state after decades living on the East Coast. 

As many Wyoming Republicans don't consider her a Wyomingite as do — 40 percent apiece — and 51 percent of all Wyomingites say she is not one of them.

Similarly, a plurality of Wyoming Republicans say it would have been more appropriate for Cheney to run in Virginia, where she lived until 2012, rather than in Wyoming.

Her father, former Vice President Cheney, remains highly popular with the state's Republicans.

Seventy-one percent have a favorable view of the former Wyoming congressman. 

But those warm feelings don't translate to his daughter: The younger Cheney's favorability with Wyoming Republicans stands at 43 percent, with 32 percent holding unfavorable opinions.

Enzi has committed to seeking a fourth Senate term in 2014. But even if he changes his mind and retires, Cheney wouldn't be in the clear.

Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) had voiced interest in the seat if Enzi decided to retire, and leads Cheney in the poll by 41 percent to 34 percent.

Cheney has faced some harsh criticism from those in the state for her decision to move to the state and challenge Enzi. 

Enzi's hometown paper told her to "run from Virginia or someplace else" in an editorial.

Lummis said last week that "it is a unique strategy to live your entire life elsewhere and then come to a state a year before you’re going to announce you're going to run for that state's highest office."

Cheney pushed back, telling The Hill that her family had been in the state since 1852 and arguing that "people who launch the carpetbagger charge do so to avoid talking about issues and substance."

The automated poll of 780 Republican primary voters was conducted from July 19-21 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The margin of error on the broader sample of 1,203 registered Wyoming voters was plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.