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Three takeaways from the Wyoming primaries

Jackson, Wyoming

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who since the Capitol uprising has become the Republican Party’s most vocal critic of former President Donald Trump, was ousted from her House seat by Harriet Hageman, backed by Trump, CNN reported Tuesday.

In Alaska, voters cast their ballots in another race the former president is focused on, with Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski facing off in the first of what are expected to be two rounds against Trump-endorsed Kelly Tshibaka.

Former Governor Sarah Palin, meanwhile, is attempting a political comeback in a special election for the state’s only seat in the House.

Here are three takeaways from Tuesday’s contest in Wyoming as Alaskans wrap up their vote:

Trump and his allies spent the spring and summer turning the Republican primaries on the political map into uphill battles in which loyalty to the former president was the central factor.

He lost high-profile battles, including in Georgia, where Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger fended off Trump challengers.

But in most open-seat races, Trump’s nominees have prevailed. And on Tuesday in Wyoming, Trump, who had backed Hageman the day she entered the race against Cheney, scored his biggest victory yet.

Cheney is now the eighth of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021 uprising on Capitol Hill to leave the House. Four chose not to seek re-election and four others lost the GOP primaries.


Ahead of Tuesday’s primary, Cheney insisted she was trying to win.

But her strategy — trying to convince the Republican electorate in a state the former president won by a margin of 43 percentage points in 2020 to backfire — suggests she had made a different choice: swing.

She infuriated Republicans by urging Wyoming Democrats and unaffiliated voters to change their party registration and vote in Tuesday’s GOP primary.

Surrounded by United States Capitol Police officers during the campaign trail, Cheney opted for small, private events over rallies. She lambasted Trump in TV interviews.

His campaign’s closing message was a television ad featuring his father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, calling Trump a “coward” who lies to his supporters and “tried to steal the last election” using the violence.

His election night, on a ranch in Jackson Hole with the sun setting over the Grand Tetons in the background, featured no television screens for supporters to watch tabulated results in a race Cheney was almost certain to lose.

She told her supporters that she could have convinced Trump to do what she had done in the primaries two years earlier: win with 73% of the vote.

“It was a path I couldn’t and didn’t want to take,” Cheney said. “No seat in the House, no office in this country is more important than the principles we have all sworn to protect. And I fully understand the potential political consequences of upholding my duty.

Cheney’s decision to use the spotlight of his high-profile House primary to play on Trump has never won in Wyoming. But it endeared her to a segment of anti-Trump donors and positioned her as the GOP’s most vocal critic of Trump.

The three-term congresswoman hasn’t said what her next policy move will be – including whether she’ll run for president in 2024 as a stooge for Trump.

But she used her speech to preview an ongoing fight against Trump, without explaining exactly what that means.

“I have said since January 6 that I will do whatever it takes to ensure that Donald Trump is never near the Oval Office again, and I mean it. This is a fight for all of us, together,” a- she declared.

“I am a conservative Republican. … But I love my country more. So I ask you this evening to join me: as we leave here, let us resolve that we will stand together, Republicans, Democrats and Independents, against those who would destroy our republic. »

As she left the stage, Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” blared over the speakers at the event.


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