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Supporters of Cheney, challenger split on legitimacy of Biden win: poll

File - Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that it's possible that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack at the U.S. Capitol will make a criminal referral against former President Trump.
Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite
File – Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that it’s possible that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack at the U.S. Capitol will make a criminal referral against former President Trump.

An overwhelming majority of Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-Wyo.) supporters said in a new poll that they believe President Biden legitimately won the 2020 election, while the opposite is true for those who support her challenger in the upcoming GOP primary, Harriet Hageman, who is backed by former President Trump

The University of Wyoming (UW) poll found that 94 percent of Cheney supporters view Biden’s victory as legitimate, compared to only 16 percent of Hageman supporters.

Hageman has supported Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud, saying the 2020 election was “rigged” at a candidate forum earlier this month. Cheney, meanwhile, has repeatedly laid into Trump and his allies, even referring to the GOP as “very sick” in recent days.

The new poll also found that Cheney is facing an uphill battle in the Tuesday primary. 

Cheney received 27.8 percent support among likely GOP primary voters, compared to 57.4 support for Hageman and roughly 10 percent who were undecided.

“The race for the Republican nomination appears to be a referendum on Cheney, as it usually is when an incumbent seeks reelection,” Jim King, a professor of political science at UW, said in a statement.

But this year’s Republican primary in Wyoming may attract voters of all partisan affiliations. Cheney is attempting to convince Democrats to switch parties for the primary to boost her chances, and two House Democrats cut ads in support of Cheney’s strategy.

The UW poll found that roughly half of likely voters in Wyoming who identify as Democrats say they will vote in the Republican primary. But that group of Democrats would only reflect 8 percent of likely voters in the primary.

“There has been much talk in the media about Democrats crossing over and voting in the Republican primary; this group is not especially large,” said King.

Among that group, Cheney received 98 percent support, compared to 15 percent support among Republicans likely to vote in the primary. Independents likely to vote in the GOP primary were split, with 41 percent indicating support for Cheney and 43 percent for Hageman.

“Back-of-the-napkin math says that number could represent as many as 20,000 votes in the GOP primary from currently registered Democrats, compared to as many as 200,000-plus votes from registered Republicans,” said Brian Harnisch, director of UW’s Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center.

“It does not appear at the time of this survey the numbers are there for party switching to have a significant effect on the outcome of this race,” he added.

The poll was conducted from July 25 through Aug. 6, yielding 836 total responses, including 562 identified as likely GOP primary voters. The margin of error for the primary questions is 4.1 percentage points.

Tags 2020 election claims Biden Harriet Hageman Harriet Hageman Joe Biden Liz Cheney Wyoming primary
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