Even some of the fiercest admirers of Liz Cheney privately concede that the three-term Republican House Member and one of two Republicans on the Jan. 6 House select committee will lose renomination in Wyoming's GOP primary Tuesday.
So taken for granted is her defeat that there is already speculation about what the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney will do next — especially since she is likely to have some of her record $10 million reelection war chest left over.
One recent subject of speculation is whether Liz Cheney will join with such fellow "Never Trumpers" as former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and former Florida Rep. David Jolly in the new Forward Party and become its presidential candidate in 2024.
"She clearly wants to run," said Henry Olson of the Center for Ethics and Public Policy and author of three critically acclaimed books on U.S. politics. "I had not thought about her on the Forward Party."
Former Republican National Chairman (and frequent Trump critic) Michael Steele told us, "Liz Cheney will be able to do whatever she wants with far more support across the country than anyone serving in GOP leadership. Her impact on the party will be felt and deliberate as she continues to be a champion of democracy and a reminder of why Republicans like her still matter."
A just-completed University of Wyoming poll showed Donald Trump-endorsed challenger and former Republican National Committeewoman Harriet Hageman clobbering Cheney by 57 to 27 percent, with 4 percent going to other candidates and 10 percent undecided.
In recent weeks, the embattled incumbent has been openly appealing to the estimated 45,000 registered Democrats in the Cowboy State to cross over into the Republican primary Tuesday and save her. Former State GOP Chairman Tom Sansonetti told Newsmax that she would need roughly 14,000 to 18,000 to make up her deficit, adding that "the lower number is doable and the higher number is not."
Over the weekend, Cheney got a boost in her efforts to woo Democrats (who can re-register on the day of the primary and vote in the GOP contest) with the endorsement of former Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. Once an icon of the left, Franken experienced public embarrassment in 2018 when it was revealed he posed years before for a tasteless picture with a co-star who was asleep while they were part of a troupe entertaining U.S. troops abroad. Franken apologized and the co-star accepted his apology, but widespread press criticism led to his resignation from the Senate.
Since then, many on the left have, while not defending his behavior, said that his resignation was not necessary and that they wished he were still in the Senate.
"Liz will do good here in Laramie County [Cheyenne] and Teton County, which is the only Democratic county in the state," Jack Mueller of Cheyenne, a past national chairman of the Young Republicans, told us. "But the rest of the state will be overwhelmingly Harriet."
"I bet she wishes she had run for the Senate seat," said Dan Eberhardt, longtime GOP contributor and fundraiser, recalling how the late Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., stepped down in 2020 and Cheney passed on the race, which was eventually won by fellow Republican Cynthia Lummis.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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