What to watch in Tuesday's primaries

Three of the best-known women in Republican politics will face primary voters on Tuesday, with at least one highly unlikely to go to the...


Three of the best-known women in Republican politics will face primary voters on Tuesday, with at least one highly unlikely to go to the polls in November.

The fate of the other two could take longer to become clear.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming looks almost certain to lose her seat amid a furious Republican backlash over her role as co-chair of the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol and her vote to impeach the former President Donald J. Trump for his role in inciting this riot.

In Alaska, former Gov. Sarah Palin is trying to get back into the open race for the state’s sole congressional seat, last held by Don Young, who died in March. Ms. Palin, who was John McCain’s notoriously revolutionary running mate in 2008, is running in both a special election runoff for the remainder of Mr. Young’s term and a primary for a full term.

Ms. Palin, who rivals say has been more visible in recent years on right-wing television in the Lower 48 than in her home state, and Ms. Cheney have been met with deep skepticism from voters who believe that the national spotlight has come to matter more to them than listening to and caring about the people who elected them.

Ms Palin, however, was an early supporter of Mr Trump and won his endorsement.

Also in Alaska, Senator Lisa Murkowski, who was one of seven Republicans to vote to convict Mr. Trump of inciting insurrection, is in a re-election fight against a field led by Kelly Tshibaka, a former government official. state that Mr. Trump endorsed. and called “MAGA all the way”.

Race calls in Alaska could be days or even weeks away as mail-in ballots will be collected and counted until at least August 31. It’s possible that at the end of the night, we only know who has a first lead in early voting and in person.

Ms. Palin and Ms. Murkowski can take comfort, however: they only need to be among the top four in their primaries to secure a place in the November general election ballot.

Ms. Cheney may have the admiration of a certain part of the political spectrum for her actions on the House committee investigating Jan. 6 and her dedication to democracy and the rule of law. But in Wyoming, a state Mr. Trump won with 70% of the vote in 2020, his crusade to hold him accountable for inciting the Capitol crowd and sitting idly by for hours as rioters threatened lawmakers and his own vice president, all but doomed his re-election chances early in his campaign.

Ms. Cheney, who lost her House leadership job after her impeachment vote, has no regrets. “If the cost of defending the Constitution is losing the House seat, then that’s a price I’m willing to pay,” she said. Told The New York Times this month.

The survey included Democratic voters who plan to cross over and vote for Ms. Cheney, as permitted by Wyoming law and encouraged by the Cheney campaign. In fact, nearly half of Democratic likely voters said they would vote in the GOP primary, almost all for Ms. Cheney. But Wyoming Democrats are vastly outnumbered.

Among likely Republican primary voters, the poll found 45% said President Biden’s election was “not legitimate” and 60% said the Jan. 6 House committee was not “fair.” and impartial”.



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The conservative group Club for Growth is increasing the a television ad saying, “Liz Cheney is wrong about Trump, and she’s wrong about Wyoming.”

Ms. Hageman, a litigator who has fought against federal land use regulations, tailored a more subtle message to voters, portraying Ms. Cheney as more interested in national fame than Wyoming representation. “Liz Cheney. She’s had her time in Congress and this election all around her,” one of her closing ads reads. “Well, it’s not about her, it’s about about you.”

First elected in 2016 as Wyoming’s only congresswoman, Ms Cheney, 56, takes the seat her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, held for a decade. She has made almost no appearances at public gatherings in the state this year, partly because of death threatsaccording to his office.

In its own last campaign messageMs. Cheney seemed resigned to whatever might happen.

“History has shown us time and time again how these kinds of poisonous lies destroy free nations,” she said of Mr. Trump’s false allegations of a stolen election and those who repeat them. “No one who understands the laws of our nation, no one with an honest, honorable and genuine commitment to our Constitution, would say that. It is a cancer that threatens our great republic.

Ms. Palin, now 58, is one of only three candidates in the special election runoff for the remainder of Mr. Young’s term as the sole member of the Alaska House. But she is among more than 20 in primary school.

Two years ago, Alaskans voted on the initiative to revise state elections. Party primaries were replaced by a free-for-all or “jungle” primary open to candidates from all parties. The top four qualify for the general election, the winner of which is determined by ranked choice.

Opponents of the changes argued that the ranked choice was intended to give Democrats, with only half as many registered voters in the state as Republicans, a better chance in the general election.

Ms Palin denounced the ranked choice this month at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas. “In Alaska we have this weird system,” she said. “It’s convoluted, it’s complicated and it’s driving voter suppression.”

Voters in ranked choice contests prioritize their choices. To arrive at a winner, each candidate’s first-choice votes are tallied, the final runner-up is eliminated, and the eliminated candidate’s second-choice votes are added to those candidates’ totals – and so on, until someone decides. exceeds 50% of the vote.

Ms. Palin, who enjoys nearly universal name recognition, finished first in the June primary for the remainder of Mr. Young’s term. But she faces some serious competition in Tuesday’s three-way contest with Nick Begich III, a Republican businessman from a prominent Democratic family in Alaska, and Mary Peltola, a Democrat who served on the Alaska Legislature.

Public polls have been rare. Alaska Research Survey in late July found that in a three-way race, Ms Peltola was in the lead with 42%, followed by Mr Begich and Ms Palin with 29% each.

The poll also suggested why Ms Palin might be struggling. she was seen positively by 31% of registered voters in Alaska and negatively by 61%. With Ms. Palin eliminated and the voters’ second choices ranked, according to the poll, Mr. Begich edged out Ms. Peltola.

Voters in Alaska have been skeptical of Ms Palin since she stepped down in 2009, halfway through her first term as governor, to pursue her growing fame as a national Tea Party star. She flirted with a 2012 presidential run and more recently appeared as a TV commentator and occasional reality TV star.

Alaska’s new electoral system will most likely work to Ms. Murkowski’s advantage. A traditional partisan primary could well have ended his career.

A moderate Republican, Ms. Murkowski is often an actor in bipartisan negotiations in the Senate. She was defeated in a Republican primary in 2010, but won the general election as a write-in candidate.

She is a big favorite to get through the first four primaries on Tuesday, along with Ms. Tshibaka, who shared a stage with Mr. Trump in Anchorage last month. A Democrat, Pat Chesbro, is considered another likely top-four finisher.

In all, there are 19 candidates in the Senate primary, including eight Republicans, three Democrats, two from the Alaska Independence Party and many with no party affiliation – illustrating that Alaskan politics is as varied as its famous landscape.



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