State Watch

Cheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists’ straw poll

The candidate endorsed by former President Trump in the Republican primary against Rep. Liz Cheney won a straw poll conducted by GOP activists in Wyoming on Saturday.

Harriet Hageman won 59 votes in the straw poll conducted by the Wyoming Republican State Central Committee, according to the Casper Star-Tribune. Cheney won six votes, while state Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R) won two and Denton Knapp won one.

“I think it’s a good sign. It’s not an endorsement, but these are the county activists,” Hageman told the newspaper.

Out of the 74 committee members, 71 members reportedly voted, three of whom are Hageman’s family members. As the Star-Tribune noted, the Republican Party of Wyoming is not permitted to endorse a candidate in the primary election, which is eight months away.

Cheney spokesperson Jeremy Adler said of the poll, “The only elections that matter are in August and November.”

This recent poll is a further indication of how Republicans feel about Cheney after she publicly denounced Trump for his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. In February, the Wyoming Republican Party voted to censure Cheney for voting to impeach Trump.

In November, the party took its condemnation of Cheney a step further by voting to no longer recognize her as a member of the GOP. A spokesperson for Cheney at the time called these actions “laughable.”

“She is bound by her oath to the Constitution. Sadly, a portion of the Wyoming GOP leadership has abandoned that fundamental principle, and instead allowed themselves to be held hostage to the lies of a dangerous and irrational man,” Cheney spokesman Jeremy Adler said.

The straw polls have not always predicted the results of the election. In 2020, GOP Wyoming Senate candidate Bryan Miller beat then-Senate candidate Cynthia Lummis in a straw poll. Lummis, a former U.S. congresswoman, went on to win the general election and become the first woman elected to represent Wyoming in the U.S. Senate.

Hageman, once a Cheney ally, received Trump’s endorsement in September after he vowed to back any Republican candidate that could oust Cheney from office in Wyoming’s only congressional district.

In 2016, the attorney blasted Trump as being “racist and xenophobic” and said he was the “weakest candidate.” Since receiving his endorsement, however, Hageman has recanted her prior criticisms.

“I heard and believed the lies the Democrats and Liz Cheney’s friends in the media were telling at the time, but that is ancient history as I quickly realized that their allegations against President Trump were untrue,” she said.

Updated 2:30 p.m.

State Watch