NY Times reporter David Montgomery travel across the state asking people there what did they thing of their US House member….
Cheney has insisted that her sole focus is serving the people of Wyoming and protecting the democracy from Trumpism, not angling to ascend to the White House as potentially the moral leader of a post-Trump GOP. But there’s no question that her showdown with Trump has assumed dimensions far beyond a sleepy midterm reelection campaign in the country’s least-populated state.
Since entering the House in 2017, Cheney has never had a close primary or general election. She was embraced by the Republican establishment in D.C., and quickly rose to the No. 3 position of leadership in the GOP caucus, giving Wyoming outsize clout for such a small population. She was reelected in November with nearly 69 percent of the vote.
Her problems began when she cast doubt on Trump’s false claims that the election had been stolen. Cheney circulated a 21-page white paper highlighting the judicial decisions striking down fraud claims by Trump’s allies, and describing why the Constitution doesn’t allow Congress or the vice president to overrule certified state electoral votes.
On Jan. 6, Trump called out Cheney by name during his speech on the Ellipse. She was on the House floor when rioters broke into the Capitol. When leading Trump advocate Rep. Jim Jordan from Ohio offered to help her from the aisle, she later recalled smacking his hand away and telling him, “Get away from me. You f—ing did this,” according to the book “I Alone Can Fix It” by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.
Cheney went on to vote for Trump’s second impeachment in January (she had voted against the first impeachment, in 2019). She was ejected from the House leadership in May, but has since doubled and tripled down on her anti-Trump stance, taking a key role on the Democratic-led committee to investigate Jan. 6 and firing volley after gleeful volley at the former president. She tweeted in August that Trump “continues to use the same type of language he knows provoked violence in the past.” Five days later, she told the Commonwealth Club public affairs forum in San Francisco that Trump “continues to be an ongoing, clear and present danger to this democracy.”….
Cheney’s conservatism is not in doubt; she is pro-gun, anti-abortion, pro-fossil fuels, pro-tax cuts, pro-defense spending, and voted with Trump 93 percent of the time. “If you look at it from a political philosophy standpoint, Liz Cheney is absolutely a conservative, right across the board,” says Matt Micheli, a former chairman of the Wyoming GOP who calls Cheney “a phenomenal representative for our state.” As he puts it, the question at stake in next year’s primary will be: “What is the future of the conservative movement in America? Is it one that’s styled after the Ronald Reagan brand of conservatism, or the more populist, Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene brand of conservatism?”
I recently spent 10 days traveling 2,100 miles up and down the state, talking with more than 60 residents to see how Wyoming is processing this choice. Nearly everywhere I went, rage against Cheney erupted as regularly as a Yellowstone geyser. Support for her was harder to find, though equally passionate. But whatever side they are on, Wyoming voters draw their heat for this race from the same source: their knowledge that this is no ordinary political grudge match, but rather a test of the party’s future….