The race for Wyoming’s one House of Representatives seat is usually not one that attracts much interest, given the state’s overwhelming red status and rich Republican history, but in 2022, it might be one of the most interesting in the nation. Liz Cheney primary odds show a gloomy outlook, as to whether this will be her final term.
That’s not to say Democrats have any hope in the seat – to be clear, they have none. The increased interest is because of a Republican Primary for that seat, led by Donald Trump supporters.
2022 Liz Cheney Odds: House Republican Primary In Wyoming
Will Liz Cheney win the 2022 House GOP nomination in WY-AL?
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Background on Liz Cheney’s Seat
In 2016, Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick, ran for her father’s old House seat, two years after failing to win a Senate primary. Cheney won the primary by a comfortable margin and then easily won the general election, before winning easily in both 2018 and 2020.
After the GOP lost the House in 2018, and given Paul Ryan’s decision to not run for Congress again, there was a vacancy for the No. 3 position in the GOP House leadership, as former No. 2 Kevin McCarthy and former No. 3 Steve Scalise moved up a slot with Ryan’s departure.
With the support of many, Cheney ran for the position, buoyed by both her father’s influence and the desire of many Republicans to elevate a woman, given the way House Republicans had lost so much ground with moderate, well-off women in 2018. She held that position until this May, when she was replaced by Elize Stefanik.
Why Was Liz Cheney Replaced?
Cheney voted for the impeachment of Donald Trump in 2021, on the basis that his conduct leading up to the storming of the Capitol on January 6th was unforgivable, and that said conduct met the (undefined) standard for a high crime.
Cheney was one of 10 Republicans to do so in the House, and faced an immediate round of pressure for doing so from within the Republican caucus for her disloyalty to the now-former President.
She survived an initial ballot for her position to be declared vacant, but her refusal to stop talking about Trump and January 6th led to increasing tension within the caucus, before she was replaced.
Fallout And Subsequent Drama
Since being replaced, Cheney has been a constant thorn in the side of the House GOP leadership, taking a spot on the House committee investigating the events of January 6th. With fellow Yes impeachment voter Adam Kinzinger, it gives that committee some bipartisan legitimacy, given the GOP pulled their members from it.
Her refusal to vote with the GOP against the contempt charge for former Trump aide Steve Bannon last week was another mark against her from the GOP House leadership and Trump world, and another sign of how far she has moved herself away from the mainstream of the party – or, as she would say, how far it has moved from her.
She is being challenged for her Congressional seat by a Trump-endorsed lawyer named Harriet Hageman and a state senator named Anthony Bouchard. Bouchard was thought to be a serious candidate until stories about Bouchard’s family life came out, which should be disqualifying.
The Case For Cheney
In Liz Cheney odds, the case for her is very simple:
- She is a Cheney in Wyoming.
- She’s an incumbent.
- She is in a fight that is more than just a local battle for a House seat.
- She’s in a proxy fight for the future of the Republican Party.
Cheney has angered many in Republican politics with her choices this year, but she isn’t dead in the water.
Usually the reason incumbents hold is institutional support, which Cheney doesn’t have. Kevin McCarthy and the rest of the GOP leadership won’t lift a finger to help her, which would usually be a death knell against a well-supported primary challenger. Hageman is just that, already having the support of Donald Trump as she does, but Cheney’s last name and connections matter here.
She will be able to rely on the old Republican establishment and her father’s rolodex of donors and rich friends to raise as much money as she could ever need in Wyoming, and that will mitigate the lack of support from national Republicans organizations.
The problem is, it won’t be enough.
The Case For Hageman
Cheney has cast too many votes in the House that are too alienating to what the GOP primary electorate believe at this point. Her views, whatever you think of them, are out of step with her voters, and she has to know it.
Taking the seat on the January 6th Committee was basically an admission her career is over, and every time she facilitates an investigation into the last sitting Republican President and all of his allies, she makes the job of winning her seat again harder.
She might say that’s a price worth paying, but that’s irrelevant to an analysis of her chances.
Hageman is almost irrelevant to this. She has the Trump endorsement in a state that loves Trump.
Cheney may be a dynastic name in the state, but it wasn’t enough to get Liz into the Senate in 2014, and it won’t be enough here.
Hageman should be a much bigger favorite in this race than she is, and Liz Cheney is merely winding down the clock on her final term in office.