Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who since the insurrection at the Capitol has become the Republican Party’s most forceful critic of former President Donald Trump, was ousted from her House seat by Trump-backed Harriet Hageman, CNN projected Tuesday.
As Alaskans wrap up their voting, here are top takeaways from Tuesday’s contest in The Cowboy State:
Trump’s intra-party rivals: Trump and his allies have spent the spring and summer turning Republican primaries across the political map into bitter fights in which loyalty to the former President was the central factor.
He lost some high-profile battles, including in Georgia, where Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger held off Trump-back challengers.
Cheney chose to go down fighting: In the lead-up to Tuesday’s primary, Cheney insisted she was trying to win.
But her strategy — attempting to convince the Republican electorate in a state the former President won by a margin of 43 percentage points in 2020 to turn on him — suggests she’d made a different choice: to go down swinging.
Her election night event, on a ranch in Jackson Hole with the sun setting over the Grand Tetons in the background, didn’t feature any television screens for supporters to watch results tabulated in a race Cheney was all but certain to lose.
She told supporters that she could have cozied up to Trump did what she’d done in the primary two years earlier: win with 73% of the vote. Cheney’s decision to use the spotlight of her high-profile House primary to tee off on Trump was never a winning one in Wyoming. But it did endear her to a segment of anti-Trump donors and position her as the GOP’s most strident critic of Trump.
What’s next for Cheney? The three-term congresswoman has not said what her next political move will be — including whether she’ll run for president in 2024 as a foil for Trump. But she used her speech to preview a continued fight against Trump, without laying out exactly what that means.
As she left the stage, Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” blared over the event’s speakers.
Read more takeaways here.