Mon. Jan 30th, 2023

Voters in Wyoming and Alaska, two Republican-heavy states, are going to the polls on Tuesday with one of former President Donald Trump’s biggest foes, Rep. Liz Cheney, fighting for her political life against a Trump-backed challenger, Harriet Hageman.

A poll by University of Wyoming on Aug. 11 had Hageman leading Cheney by nearly 30 points, with Hageman receiving 57% support to Cheney’s 28%. 

Cheney is the last of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump to face a primary challenge. Of those 10, only two have prevailed and will go on to the general election in november. Four have decided to retire or not run for reelection and three others have either lost to primary challengers or conceded the race. 

But Cheney, who once was the No. 3 Republican in House leadership and whose father is former Vice President Dick Cheney, has been one of Trump’s most outspoken foes in the House. She is the vice chair of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol and one of only two Republicans on the committee. 

Cheney told CBS News’ Robert Costa on Tuesday that this primary is “certainly the beginning of a battle that is going to continue to go on.” 

“And as a country, we’re facing a moment where our democracy really is under attack and under threat,” Cheney said. 

Cheney added that she has no regrets about the campaign she has run. “I feel very proud about all the work I’ve done together with the people of Wyoming over the last six years and really understand and recognize there’s nothing more important than the defense of our Constitution.” 

The Wyoming Republican party has both censured and disavowed her, a largely symbolic move. While House leadership usually backs incumbents, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has followed Trump’s lead and backed Hageman.

Hageman was once a Trump critic and backed Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2016 election. But now she’s embraced his support and has backed his baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen, allegations that have never been supported and that the House Jan. 6 committee has gone to great lengths to debunk. 

Photos of Harriet Hageman and Liz Cheney
Harriet Hageman, left, challenged Rep. Liz Cheney in the Republican primary for Wyoming’s sole House seat.

Getty Images

Cheney, whose national profile has risen during her crusade against the former president, has not shut the door on a presidential run in 2024. While some anti-Trump Republicans have acknowledged there is an open lane for a Republican like Cheney in 2024, she only polled at 2% in a recent Morning Consult poll on the 2024 primary.

Another Trump foe, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, one of the seven Senate Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, is on the ballot on Tuesday. But Murkowski has at least two factors in her favor: Alaska has an open primary system in which the top four vote-getters advance to the general election in November, and the state instituted ranked-choice voting for general elections in  2020.

Murkowski, who is also from a powerful political dynasty, has come back from the political graveyard before. First appointed to her seat in 2002 and then elected in 2004, Murkowski lost a primary challenge in 2010 but then became the first U.S. senator in over 50 years to win as a write-in candidate. She easily won reelection in 2016 although she has since become a Trump foe, including voting against Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.

The race for Alaska’s at-large congressional seat features controversial former vice presidential candidate and Gov. Sarah Palin on the ballot. Palin was the top vote-getter in the 48-person June primary for the seat, which has been open since longtime Rep. Don Young died in March.

But a Alaska Survey Research poll in July simulated the rounds of ranked-choice voting and estimated that Palin would be eliminated in the first round of reallocation in the general election

The top vote getter in Tuesday’s race will serve out the remainder of Young’s term, which ends in January. All three candidates on the ballot Tuesday are on the ballot for the general election in November. 

See below for a list of Tuesday’s races and candidates, which will be updated with the winners when results are in.

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