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Liz Cheney leads GOP field by 20 points in potential Wyoming Senate race: poll

Liz Cheney leads GOP field by 20 points in potential Wyoming Senate race: poll
© Greg Nash

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Liz Cheney gets 2022 primary challenger after voting to impeach Trump The Hill's Morning Report - President Biden, Vice President Harris begin work today MORE (R) leads a field of declared and potential GOP Senate contenders by 20 points in the race to replace retiring Sen. Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziSenate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes With Senate at stake, Georgia is on all our minds Wyoming mask mandate backed by GOP lawmakers goes into effect MORE (R) in Wyoming, according to a new poll from Montana State University Billings. 

The House Republican Conference Chairwoman, who has not yet said whether she will run for Senate, garnered 37 percent support in the survey, compared to 17 percent support for second-placed former Rep. Cynthia LummisCynthia Marie LummisREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results LIVE COVERAGE: Congress certifies Biden win after Pennsylvania, Arizona challenges fail Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes MORE (R-Wyo.), who has already filed to run for the Senate seat.

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Others were polling in single digits, including GOP mega-donor Foster Friess, who is also weighing a bid. Thirty-eight percent of those polled said they remain undecided.

Speculation has grown over whether Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House, will enter the open Senate race or look to continue to climb in the leadership ranks in the lower chamber.

Under the rules of the House Republican Conference, Cheney — the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney — would have to vacate her leadership position after formally declaring herself a candidate for Senate.

Were she to enter the Senate race, she would face Lummis, a former member of the House Freedom Caucus who has received strong support from the conservative flank of the Republican Party. 

“Liz is a rising star in the Republican Party and regardless of where she is after 2020, she’s going to be a trailblazing force for conservatives moving forward,” one GOP operative said.  

“There’s no wrong decision for her, and this poll just reaffirms that she’s an overwhelming front-runner if she opts to launch a Senate campaign.” 

One leadership source told The Hill there has been talk of changing the rules to allow the two-term Wyoming Republican to remain on as conference chairwoman while seeking a seat in the upper chamber. 

While the filing deadline to enter the race isn’t until May 2020, some speculate Cheney is likely to announce her decision before the end of the year. 

Montana State University Billings polled 177 likely voters from Wyoming in a random telephone sampling conducted from Oct. 7 to Oct. 16, and has a margin of error of 7.4 points.