Liz Cheney, Sarah Palin and Lisa Murkowski on the ballot in Wyoming and Alaska’s Tuesday primary

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Washington is turning its focus on Tuesday to the Republican primaries in Wyoming and Alaska – two deep red states where former President Donald Trump‘s coattails will be put to the test.

In Wyoming, top Trump critic Liz Cheney is looking poised to lose her at-large House seat to challenger Harriet Hageman. The congresswoman has repeatedly voiced her anti-Trump sentiments and is one of only two Republicans on the panel probing the January 6 Capitol attack.

Meanwhile, moderate Senator Lisa Mukrowski could hold onto her upper chamber seat in Alaska despite Trump backing her pro-MAGA challenger Kelly Tshibaka.

Sarah Palin, also backed by Trump, is looking to take the at-large House seat in Alaska, which opened up earlier this year with the death of long-serving Congressman Don Young.

The fate of Alaska politics relies on the new voting system, known as Ballot Measure 2, which implemented ranked-choice voting for general elections in the Last Frontier State.

Voters wait in line outside a polling place in Wilson, Wyoming to cast their ballot in the state's 2022 midterm primary election on Tuesday, August 16

Voters wait in line outside a polling place in Wilson, Wyoming to cast their ballot in the state’s 2022 midterm primary election on Tuesday, August 16 

All eyes are turning to Alaska and Wyoming for Tuesday's election. People wait in line in Jackson, Wyoming on Monday, August 15, 2022, to cast their early ballots for Tuesday's primary election

All eyes are turning to Alaska and Wyoming for Tuesday’s election. People wait in line in Jackson, Wyoming on Monday, August 15, 2022, to cast their early ballots for Tuesday’s primary election

Republican Representative Liz Cheney walks to a meeting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office on July 28, 2022

Moderate GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski speaks with supporters at the grand opening of her reelection campaign office in Juneau, Alaska August 11, 2022

Donald Trump’s coattails will be put to the test  Tuesday as he vies to oust anti-MAGA Republicans Rep. Liz Cheney (left) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (right) 

Retired rancher Horton Spitzer, 89, wears a red Make America Great hat after leaving a polling place Monday in Jackson, Wyoming for early voting in the primary election

Retired rancher Horton Spitzer, 89, wears a red Make America Great hat after leaving a polling place Monday in Jackson, Wyoming for early voting in the primary election

Anne Bradley shares a chair with her son while casting her early ballot on Monday, August 15 for Tuesday's primary election in Wyoming

Anne Bradley shares a chair with her son while casting her early ballot on Monday, August 15 for Tuesday’s primary election in Wyoming

RANKED-CHOICE VOTING EXPLAINED 

Unlike traditional elections, ranked-choice voting structures place all candidates in an open-party election where voters rank individuals from their most to least preferred winner. 

If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes outright, they are declared the victor. 

If no candidate wins a majority of first preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated.  At this point, any first-preference votes for the failed candidate are discounted, and lifts those ballots to the voter’s second-preference candidate. A new tally is counted. 

In the case that no candidate has the most votes once this process is conducted, it is repeated until a candidate wins the majority.  

While this form of voting could see Murkowski hang onto her Senate seat, Cheney will likely not be as lucky down in Wyoming after the state’s GOP censured her and she lost her No. 3 House Republican position for being too anti-Trump. 

Palin won her June primary with just 27 percent of the vote – but it appears she has lost some steam since then.

A poll taken in late July by Alaska Survey Research shows former state Representative Mary Peltola in first place with 41 percent, Republican businessman Nick Begich III with 30 percent support and Palin in third with 29 percent.

In a final poll in the run-up to primary day in Wyoming, Cheney was behind the Trump-backed Hageman by 29 points – with University of Wyoming pollsters even accounting for Democrats and independents who might switch parties to vote for her.

The poll is no surprise, as Cheney’s campaign has been bracing for a loss for months as questions emerged why she decided to run when it was clear Republicans in her state turned against her.

Trump threw his whole weight behind the Wyoming race – vowing to get revenge for Cheney’s criticism, impeachment vote and top role on the House select committee on January 6.

On election eve, Trump called into a tele-rally for Hageman and called the race ‘one of the most critical primary elections in the history of our country.’ 

Former President Trump is supporting Kelly Tshibaka in her campaign against Murkowski in Alaska. The two rallied in Anchorage on July 9, 2022 – Trump's first rally in the Last Frontier State

Former President Trump is supporting Kelly Tshibaka in her campaign against Murkowski in Alaska. The two rallied in Anchorage on July 9, 2022 – Trump’s first rally in the Last Frontier State

Former President Donald Trump (center) held a rally for Harriet Hageman (left) in late May in Casper, Wyoming and called into a tele-rally for her Monday night

Former President Donald Trump (center) held a rally for Harriet Hageman (left) in late May in Casper, Wyoming and called into a tele-rally for her Monday night

‘The whole world is watching this one,’ the former president said.  

He called Hageman – who was critical of Trump during his 2016 election and supported Sen. Ted Cruz – a ‘person I’ve gotten to know very well’ and a ‘friend.’ 

Then he turned his attention to Cheney. 

‘This is your chance to send a message to the RINOs and the fake news media, the radical left lunatics, that we have unfortunately too many in our country, and you’re going to elect Harriet, and you’re going to tell warmonger Liz Cheney – so bad, so negative – Liz, you’re fired,’ Trump said. 

Trump said that ‘few members of Congress in history have personally caused more damage to our republic than Liz Cheney.’ 

Harriet Hageman

Rep. Liz Cheney

Trump-backed lawyer Harriet Hageman (left) looks poised to unseat Cheney (right), as voters in Wyoming head to the polls Tuesday to vote in the state’s Republican primary. The winner of the race will almost certainly win the election in November, in the ultra-red state 

A hand-painted sign in Casper, Wyoming that stands in opposition to the re-election of Rep. Liz Cheney, the most prominent GOP Trump critic in the House of Representatives

A hand-painted sign in Casper, Wyoming that stands in opposition to the re-election of Rep. Liz Cheney, the most prominent GOP Trump critic in the House of Representatives 

Another anti-Liz Cheney sign appeared on a billboard outside Cheyenne. Polling last week showed Cheney 29 points down in the pivotal primary race

Another anti-Liz Cheney sign appeared on a billboard outside Cheyenne. Polling last week showed Cheney 29 points down in the pivotal primary race 

‘The Democrats use her for sound bites, they like to say ‘Republican Liz Cheney’ and then they go into these horrendous anti-Republican, anti-country sound bites,’ Trump said. ‘It’s been a disaster.’

‘She’s aided and abetted the radical Democrat Party in their unhinged, lawless and dangerous witchhunt – a witchhunt that never ends,’ the former president complained. 

He added that Cheney’s pushed a ‘phony’ and ‘grotesquely false and fabricated hysterical partisan narrative’ about what happened on January 6. 

Cheney is one of just two Republicans serving on the January 6 panel in a political atmosphere that hasn’t been hospitable to anti-Trump GOP candidates.

The other is Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger, who is not running for a likely doomed reelection in the 2022 midterms.

Cheney, despite being a household name in Wyoming, has paid a price for her stances – losing her post as House GOP Conference chairwoman and being expelled by the state’s Republican Party.

Wyoming is the most red U.S. state, with 69.9 percent voting for Trump in the 2020 presidential election, a 43 percent margin above those who voted for Joe Biden.

Alaska went 52.8 percent for Trump in the last election, showing that while he hold weight there, it’s not nearly as much as in Wyoming.

The daughter of the former Republican vice president Dick Cheney has remained steadfast in her criticism of Trump, saying in a campaign ad last week that her party’s embrace of Trump’s ‘big lie’ – his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him – is a ‘cancer.’

‘The lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen is insidious,’ she said in the video. 

A sign showing support for Rep. Liz Cheney in her re-election fight appears on an RV trailer in Crowheart, Wyoming just days before the pivotal primary that Cheney is expected to lose

A sign showing support for Rep. Liz Cheney in her re-election fight appears on an RV trailer in Crowheart, Wyoming just days before the pivotal primary that Cheney is expected to lose 

Harriet Hageman (right) campaigns alongside Donald Trump Jr. (left) in June in Jackson, Wyoming

Harriet Hageman (right) campaigns alongside Donald Trump Jr. (left) in June in Jackson, Wyoming 

Harriet Hageman (center) talks to supporters at a campaign event in early March, alongside Republican Sen. Rand Paul (right)

Harriet Hageman (center) talks to supporters at a campaign event in early March, alongside Republican Sen. Rand Paul (right) 

She added that the false claims are a ‘door Donald Trump opened to manipulate Americans to abandon their principles, to sacrifice their freedom to justify violence, to ignore the rulings of our courts and the rule of law.’ 

Cheney’s been asked if she’s doing this to run for president. 

‘I’ll make a decision on 2024 down the road,’ she told CNN in late July. 

Her light Wyoming campaign trail schedule – due to security threats – also plays into this theory. 

‘Because of threats to her safety, Cheney’s campaign events are never publicized, and reporters are only selectively alerted. Security is heavy and paranoia runs deep in Cheney World, probably for good reason,’ wrote This Town author Mark Leibovich in The Atlantic last week.

She travels with an armed Capitol Police guard, the New Yorker also reported.  

The only details a spokesperson could provide to DailyMail.com about how she’ll spend election night was confirming she planned to speak. 

No word on whether she’ll cast her ballot in-person. 

The House is out of session so members are likely to be in their home states.  

Hageman has been doing the more typical gripping-and-grinning associated with winning an election.

She held a rally with Trump in late May, and appeared alongside Donald Trump Jr. in June. She’ll hold an election night event in Cheyenne. 

‘You have been the best president in my lifetime in addressing the regulatory burden we deal with,’ she told Trump after he delivered remarks on the call Monday night. 

That specific praise comes from her career as a lawyer, often fighting government regulations and environmentalists – earning her the nickname from some, ‘the wicked witch of the west.’ A 2009 profile of Hageman in High Country News also pointed out that the moniker came from her habit of wear goth-like outfits of all black. 

But beyond the wonky compliment, Hageman has also embraced Trump’s election lies, which he continued to go on about in the Monday night call, saying that Democrats don’t want voter ID laws ‘because they want to cheat.’ 

‘Because that’s what they do,’ Trump grumbled. 

It’s a different Hageman from the 2016 version who supported Cheney – who was running for the House for the first time – and was actively working against Trump. 

Hageman went to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland as a delegate for Cruz and was part of a group of Republicans who wanted to ‘unbind’ delegates in a last-ditch effort for Trump to lose the nomination. 

The effort didn’t work and when The New York Times highlighted Hageman’s participation in it in September 2021, she said she had been fooled. 

‘I heard and believed the lies the Democrats and Liz Cheney’s friends in the media were telling at the time, but that is ancient history as I quickly realized that their allegations against President Trump were untrue,’ she told the paper. 

‘He was the greatest president of my lifetime, and I am proud to have been able to renominate him in 2020. And I’m proud to strongly support him today,’ the House hopeful added. 



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