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Analysis: Why a Wyoming House race is critical to the future of the Republican Party

Witness Wyoming — one of the most conservative states in the country, in which Republicans control every statewide office from Senate to governor to the lone House seat.

It’s that at-large House seat, however, where a proxy war for the future of the Republican Party is shaping up.

At the center of it all is Rep. Liz Cheney, and her stand against former President Donald Trump. Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the January 6 US Capitol riot and has been outspoken about her belief that the ex-President cannot play a role in the party going forward.

On the other side, predictably, is Trump, who has made beating Cheney a major priority in 2022. Earlier this month, Trump endorsed Harriet Hageman’s bid to unseat Cheney in next year’s Republican primary — calling the congresswoman a “warmonger and disloyal Republican.”

Because of Trump’s ongoing power over the base of the Republican Party, his vehement opposition to Cheney puts her in a very tough spot politically.

But unlike some of her fellow rebellious Republicans, who are choosing to retire rather than face down Trump, Cheney is fighting back aggressively.

Former President George W. Bush, who does very little in the way of campaign politics these days, will hold a fundraiser to benefit Cheney in October in Dallas.
Cheney has also received campaign contributions from a who’s who of the party establishment, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as former House Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan. Cheney has already raised more than $3.4 million this year and had nearly $2.9 million left in the bank, according to her last campaign finance report.

The Point: Trump is dead set on seeing Cheney ousted for her lack of allegiance. Cheney and the rest of the people we used to call the Republican establishment are gearing up for an absolute political war over the coming months. Who wins will tell you plenty about whether resistance to Trump is fertile or futile.

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