Representative Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming whose poll remains far behind her Trump-approved primary challenger while her House committee hearings on Jan. 6 continue, urges Democrats in her home state to switch parties to support her in the Aug. 16 primary election .
In the past week, the Wyoming Democrats have received emails from Cheney’s campaign with specific instructions on how to change their party affiliation to vote for her. Mrs Cheney’s campaign website now has a link to a party change form.
Joseph Barbuto, chairman of the Wyoming Democratic Party, was among those who received Mrs Cheney’s instructions. Mr. Barbuto said that over the past week, his feeds on social media have been flooded with Democrats – and only Democrats – posts about receiving emails from the Cheney campaign.
“I have not had any Republicans shared online or tell me they have received it,” Mr. Barbuto Thursday.
The themes of the House Committee hearings on 6 January
Recruiting Democratic support has been a sensitive issue for Ms. Cheney since she voted to sue former President Donald J. Trump after the January 6, 202 attack. She has cast her primary contest in August with Harriet Hageman, who is allied with and approved by Mr. Trump, as a battle for the soul of the Republican Party. Recruiting Democrats for that fight could undermine those efforts.
In a February interview in Cheyenne, Wyo., Cheney ruled out the possibility that she would make a concerted effort to reach out to Democrats and ask them to change party ahead of the primary.
“It’s not something I’ve considered, that I’ve organized, or that I want to organize,” Cheney told The New York Times at the time, adding that she would “work hard for every single vote.”
Her spokeswoman, Jeremy Adler, said Thursday that Ms. Cheney was “proud to represent all of Wyoming and work hard to serve every single vote.”
Mrs Hageman’s campaign said Cheney’s attempts to recruit Democrats represented a political flip-flop.
“Liz Cheney told The New York Times she would not encourage Democrats to attack the Republican primary, but I guess the drive to hold on to power is just too strong for her to keep her word,” Carly said. Miller, Ms. Hageman’s. campaign manager. “What Cheney does not understand is that the Democrats will drop her as a bad habit after she is no longer useful to them in committee on January 6.”
Cheney’s tenure in the committee investigating the Capitol attack was a major topic of conversation at the Wyoming Democratic Party’s convention this month in Rock Springs, Mr. Barbuto. He characterized the Democrats as appreciative of her service in the committee, but said they would not forget that “she still has a voting record that was, 97 percent of the time, with Donald Trump while in office. “
It is quite typical for moderate Wyoming Republicans to recruit Democrats to change party ahead of primary elections – that was the key to Governor Mark Gordon’s victory over a primary field that included Mrs Hageman in 2018. Democrats and independents can change their party affiliation by mail up to 14 days before the primary election, or they can do so at the polling stations on election day.
Between January and June, the number of registered Republicans in Wyoming increased by 1,689, while the number of Democrats and non-aligned voters fell by a total of 1,303, according to data from the Wyoming State Department. There are more than four times as many registered Republicans as there are Democrats in the state.
Mr. Barbuto said he had heard of more Democrats planning to change party this year than before, but he predicted it would not be enough to help Mrs Cheney survive the anger of the state’s Republican primary voters.
“Even if all Democrats in the state switched,” he said, “I don’t think that would be enough to help her.”