OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Attorney Harriet Hageman went to battle with GOP primary opponent and incumbent Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney Thursday in Casper and the sparks reportedly flew.
Cheney came under fire from her four primary challengers over her criticism of Trump and her work on the select committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
At one point Hageman, who is backed by former President Donald Trump, was assailed by Cheney over the results of the 2020 election, but the longtime GOP activist stood her ground.
“Cheney noted that Hageman’s political adviser Bill Stepien, who previously worked on the Trump campaign, testified before the panel investigating the riot that he doesn’t believe there was widespread fraud,” the Washington Examiner reported.
“I’d be interested to know whether or not my opponent, Ms. Hageman, is willing to say here tonight that the election was not stolen. She knows it wasn’t stolen. I think that she can’t say that it wasn’t stolen because she’s completely beholden to Donald Trump,” Cheney said.
“And if she says it wasn’t stolen, he will not support her. So we’ve got to be honest, we have to be truthful — elected officials, in particular public servants, owe that to those people we represent,” Cheney added.
Hageman fired back and defended the former president while also pointing to a number of allegations surrounding the last presidential election and questions raised by various presentations and documentaries.
“We’re not a democracy — we’re a republic. Our republic is not in danger because of President Donald J. Trump. … The biggest threat to our republic is the current administration and the corruption of our institutions,” she said.
“The press and certain people have obsessed over Jan. 6. Over 30,000 miles of campaign travel through Wyoming, the only time that the J6 situation ever comes up is when people talk about how unfair this entire committee is,” Hageman added. “They’re focusing on something that happened 18 months ago. They’re not focusing on the issues that are important to the people in Wyoming.”
Trump has made defeating Cheney one of his top priorities since leaving office, and Hageman received his early support, and it appears to have made a major difference.
A late June poll had Cheney trailing Hageman by double digits less than two months before the Wyoming GOP primary.
“Ahead of the August primary, polling on the race remains limited, but one survey released last week found Cheney trailing her top opponent Hageman by 28 points,” Newsweek reported.
“Hageman led with 56 percent of voters saying they plan to support her—while only 28 percent of respondents said they planned to back Cheney in the August primary, the poll conducted by the Hageman-aligned Wyoming Values super PAC found. It’s largely in line with other polls, which have indicated Cheney is facing a challenging reelection bid,” the report added.
That’s not the only poll that found Cheney trailing big time in the polls.
“Just 28 percent of Wyoming Republican voters say they would cast a ballot to reelect Cheney in the 2022 midterms, according to a new poll from Fabrizio, Lee & Associates survey and consulting firm,” the Daily Mail reported.
“The survey of 400 likely Republican primary voters in the deep red state shows that 56 percent would vote for Trump-backed candidate Harriet Hageman over the incumbent if the election were held today,” the report added.
That’s a 28-point deficit to Hageman, a deficit that is likely too steep a hill for Cheney’s reelection bid to successfully climb, according to most political observers.
Adding to Cheney’s troubles, even fewer Wyoming Republicans had a favorable view of her — only 26 percent, with 73 percent viewing her unfavorably.
Hageman easily won a straw poll which was conducted by the Wyoming Republican State Central Committee in January, garnering 59 votes, according to the Casper Star-Tribune.
Cheney, meanwhile, garnered just 6 votes in a very distant second place.