We’ll begin our week’s roundup of electoral politics with another Republican who voted to impeach Trump and has been at the forefront of anti-Trump Republicans in Congress: Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney.
I’m going to cut to the chase and say that it will take a small miracle for Cheney to win Tuesday’s Republican primary for Wyoming’s only House seat. Statistically unlikely things happen, but Cheney has both the polls and history against her.
The truth is, Cheney has been a re-election underdog ever since she voted to impeach Trump in early 2021. Trump is the dominant figure in the GOP and voting to impeach Trump has proven to be a sin in the minds of people. voters. that many have not forgiven.
For Cheney in particular, you can see that is in the CES polls of Wyoming voters taken in late 2020 and then late 2021. Cheney’s disapproval rating in this staunchly Republican state jumped from 26% before his vote to impeach to 72. % afterwards.
Cheney’s high unpopularity led to a scramble for the main challengers. The one who emerged from the pack and won Trump’s endorsement, lawyer and former Republican National Committee member Harriet Hageman, appeared to be a heavy favorite on Tuesday.
From my reading of all available data, Hageman is most likely going to win somewhere north of 20 points. Betting markets have Hageman among the more than 95% favorites to be the next Wyoming House member.
You can also see the momentum behind Hageman in Wyoming in other data points. Although Cheney raised over $9 million out of state compared to Hageman’s over $1 million, Hageman more than doubled Cheney’s in-state fundraising (from nearly $800,000 to over of $300,000).
It could be argued that Cheney might have had a better chance if she hadn’t constantly challenged Trump. She is the vice chair of the House Select Committee on January 6, after all. I’m not sure, however, that what Cheney did after his vote to impeach Trump would have mattered.
There were 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump. Four announced their retirement before having to face voters again. Three were defeated in the primaries and two managed to make it to the general election.
A look at the two who made it to the general election (California Rep. David Valadao and Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse) doesn’t provide much cheer for Cheney. Both received around 25% of the vote and qualified for general elections in primary systems where all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, ran on the same ballot, with the first two voters advancing. until November – which means there was a lot of voting from non-Republicans.
Only one candidate will qualify for the general election in Cheney’s primary, and 25% of the vote probably won’t be enough to win.
And unlike California and Washington, Wyoming’s primary is partisan. You must choose a Republican ballot to vote in the primary. Cheney has tried to encourage non-Republicans to vote, but more than two-thirds of Wyoming’s registered voters are Republicans. The effort is almost certainly futile.
The fact is, about two-thirds of Republicans nationwide said the party shouldn’t accept at all or too much Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, according to the Pew Research Center.
Unless something dramatic happens in the next few days, this number, more than anything else, will explain why Cheney’s days in Congress are numbered.
Democratic reversal in special elections
You may have noticed that I mixed surveys and real-world data in our last section. It’s because I’m always looking for examples of what we see in the polls when voters vote.
When it comes to whether Democrats have gained momentum nationally, recent special elections seem to confirm what the polls show. Both show that Democrats are in better shape now than they have been in a long time.
Last week, Republican Brad Finstad defeated Democrat Jeff Ettinger in Minnesota’s 1st District special election. His victory, however, was only 4 points. Trump had won in the district by 10 points. It was, in other words, a 6-point outperformance for Democrats over the 2020 benchmark.
Interestingly, this was the second special election since late June where Democrats had encouraging news. The Democratic candidate outperformed the 2020 baseline by 6 points in Nebraska’s 1st District special election on June 28.
What makes this election unusual is that Democrats had, overall, underperformed the 2020 benchmark in this Congressional special election. Instead of the Democrats doing 6 points better than the 2020 benchmark, as they have done in the last two special elections, they had done about 6 points lower on average in the previous special elections.
It would be easy to dismiss these data points as outliers, but Democrats who receive a sudden surge in support align themselves with polling data and events.
Democrats trailed the generic national congressional ballot by an average of 3 points a few months ago. This voting test is now bound.
This comes as the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which the polls showed was an unpopular move. We saw it in Kansas, where voters in that dark red state overwhelmingly voted to defend abortion rights.
Additionally, the unpopular Trump has made headlines due to the House Select Committee hearings on Jan. 6 and now the search for Mar-a-Lago.
Whether Democrats are able to sustain that momentum in the weeks and months to come is unclear. We will have some tests this month, however, with the only district in Alaska having special elections on Tuesday and two congressional districts in New York holding special elections a week from Tuesday.
For your brief encounters: WNBA playoffs start this week
It may be hard to believe, but the WNBA started 25 years ago. This week, the professional women’s basketball league regular season comes to an end with the start of the playoffs.
Ratings for the WNBA playoffs hit their highest level since 2017 last year with an average of more than 500,000 fans tuning in. We’ll see if that can be topped this season.
As with their male counterparts, the highest-rated professional final match is actually surpassed by the college final match. About 5 million people tuned in to watch the NCAA Women’s Basketball Finals earlier this year.
Facebook is no longer cool: According to a new Pew study, only 32% of American teenagers say they have ever used Facebook. From 2014 to 2015, 71% said they had. Sites and apps with over 50% usage among teens include YouTube (95%), TikTok (67%), Instagram (62%) and Snapchat (59%).
Americans are not cool with e-cigarettes: A new Gallup poll reveals that 61% of Americans want the laws and regulations governing e-cigarettes to be stricter, compared to 7% who say less strict and 30% who think they should be kept as they are now. A majority of Democrats, independents and Republicans think they should be stricter.
Others are hungry in the world: Gallup now projects that around 10% of the population was undernourished in 2021. If this projection materialized, it would be the highest rate of undernourishment in the world in more than a decade.