Campaign Report — All eyes on Wyoming

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FILE – Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, June 28, 2022. Cheney’s determination to prevent Trump from ever again serving in the White House has left her fighting to hold on to the U.S. House seat she has held for three terms. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, tracking all things related to the 2022 midterm elections. You can expect this newsletter in your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday leading up to November’s election.   

Email us tips and feedback: Max Greenwood (mgreenwood@thehill.com), Julia Manchester (jmanchester@thehill.com), and Caroline Vakil (cvakil@thehill.com).

Cheney gears up for big primary night  

All eyes will be on Wyoming tonight as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) goes head-to-head with Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman in the GOP primary for Wyoming’s at-large congressional district. 

Cheney drew the ire of former President Trump for voting to impeach him — one of 10 House Republicans to do so — and later for helping lead the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. The panel has scrutinized efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election results and his behavior on the day of the Capitol riot. 

Trump has spent the past 18 months in an all-out effort to oust any Republican he believes crossed him after the 2020 election and Capitol riot — especially Cheney, who has been among the most vocal. 

“More than anyone, he wants Cheney gone,” one former Trump aide told Max Greenwood. “I think with him, politics is always personal, but the Cheney thing — I think he sees that as being even more important because she didn’t just vote to impeach him, right? She tried to destroy him.” 

Polling in the last few months shows Cheney’s trailing Hageman by double digits. A poll out Thursday from the University of Wyoming’s Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center showing Hageman with the support of 57 percent of Wyoming residents identified as likely voters in the primary. Cheney received 28 percent support.  

Republican strategists have acknowledged Cheney’s messaging puts her in a difficult position, and one that is unlikely to jive with Wyoming primary voters. 

“I do think it’s debatable whether she should have gone out and blown herself up this way, because it’s obviously going to cost her her seat and her platform, but she chose a different path. And I think everybody’s got to make their own decisions in life,” said Scott Jennings, a GOP strategist and ex-special assistant to former President George W. Bush who called Dick Cheney, the father of the Wyoming congresswoman, a “hero” of his. 

But Cheney is marching to the beat of her own drum, and she hasn’t stopped grilling the former president or lambasting dubious claims that the 2020 election.  

“Like many candidates across this country, my opponents in Wyoming have said that the 2020 election was rigged and stolen. No one who understands our nation’s laws, no one with an honest, honorable, genuine commitment to our Constitution would say that. It is a cancer that threatens our great Republic,” she says in her latest ad.  

Read more:

Liz Cheney approaches likely Wyoming primary loss with defianceTrump eyes big prize in taking down CheneyCheney looks to cling on in Wyoming despite pollsFive things to watch in Alaska, Wyoming primaries

Alaska features its own tests

Meanwhile, in Alaska, voters will head to the polls in the state’s Senate primary and the special House race to fill the late Rep. Don Young’s (R-Alaska) seat.  

The Senate primary will feature the other pro-impeachment Republican on the ballot today: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the only GOP senator who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial who is up for reelection this year. 

Unlike Cheney, however, Alaska’s new electoral system could work to propel Murkowski to the general election, and perhaps even another term.  

The Hill’s Julia Manchester writes that while Murkowski may not come in first in the all-party primary, she will likely be among the top four voter-getters to advance to the general election in November.  

Murkowski is not expected to lead in Tuesday’s primary, because the environment will likely favor more partisan candidates such as Kelly Tshibaka, her Trump-backed GOP opponent. However, experts say that once it’s time for the general election, Murkowski will gain more support from Democratic and independent voters, giving her an advantage over Tshibaka. 

Alaska is also holding a special election tonight, which will mark the first time voters in the state use its new ranked-choice system of voting. In that race, former Gov. Sarah Palin is seeking Young’s former seat along with fellow Republican Nick Begich III and Democrat Mary Peltola. All three are also running in a separate primary to win a full term in November. Politicos argue that the new voting system could end up working against Palin, who has Trump’s endorsement.  

Additionally, recent polls show Palin trailing Begich and Peltola.  

Regardless, both the Senate and the House races will be viewed as a test of Trump-backed candidates.  

Read more here.

GIULIANI: ‘WE’RE STARTING TO LIVE IN A FASCIST STATE’ 

Former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani minced no words on Monday after he found out he was the target of a Georgia special grand jury investigation, which is looking into efforts that former President Trump and his allies took to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. 

“It’s just a further desecration of the Sixth Amendment. I was his lawyer of record in that case. The statements that I made are either attorney-client privilege, because they were between me and him, or they were being made on his behalf in order to defend him,” the Trump ally told Newsmax. 

“When you start turning around lawyers into defendants when they’re defending their clients, we’re starting to live in a fascist state. Look, I’ve already had my law office raided. I never thought I’d ever see that happen.” 

Back up: Giuliani was given a subpoena back in July, which alleges that he offered testimony and evidence during a Georgia state Senate hearing that attempted to show that election fraud had taken place during the 2020 presidential election cycle. 

Among the evidence he offered, the subpoena alleged he included a video, later debunked by Georgia officials, that claimed to show election workers bringing in large amounts of illegal ballots. Even though that footage was debunked, the document claims that Giuliani kept making those assertions anyway, including using the video as supporting evidence.  

HUSBAND OF LATE REP. WALORSKI ENDORSES IN SPECIAL ELECTION  

The late Rep. Jackie Walorski’s (R) husband, Dean Swihart, announced he is endorsing Rudy Yakym, who served as Walorski’s campaign finance director, in the special election to fill Walorski’s seat in Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District on Monday.  

“He will fight to do the right thing, just as Jackie did every day of her career. I encourage the precinct committeemen to support Rudy in this week’s caucus,” Swihart said in a statement on Monday.  

Other candidates to represent the district include Indiana State Rep. Curt Nisly (R), former state Rep. Christy Stutzman (R), and former Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill (R).  

The special election will take place on the same day as the general election in November. The district leans heavily Republican.  

POLL WATCH 

A Dallas Morning News-University of Texas at Tyler poll shows a tight race between state Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) and his Democratic challenger, Rochelle Garza. The poll found Paxton with 34 percent support among Texas voters compared to Garza, who received 32 percent. But the poll falls within the margin of error, effectively tying the two. 

Over in New York, former federal prosecutor Daniel Goldman is leading his Democratic opponents in the state’s 10th Congressional District primary, according to a poll out from Emerson College Polling-PIX11-The Hill. The poll found Goldman at 22 percent among primary voters with New York State Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou coming in second with 17 percent. That’s followed by Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) at 13 percent and New York City Councilmember Carlina Rivera also at 13 percent.  

AD WATCH 

Environmental group Evergreen Collaborative is giving a boost to two Democratic governors, whose races are considered some of the most competitive ahead of November, by launching a six-figure ad buy to showcase their efforts on renewable and clean energy. 

One ad is boosting incumbent Gov. Steve Sisolak in Nevada, highlighting his backing of a 2019 law that upped the percentage of energy taken from energy efficient measures or renewable energy by energy providers. Another ad rallies behind Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan and efforts in the state on electric vehicle manufacturing.  

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) reelection campaign released his first general election ad of the midterm election cycle on Tuesday. The 30-second spot is narrated by first lady Cecilia Abbott, and highlights what she says are the incumbent governor’s commitment to “hard work, perseverance, and family.”  

In Arizona, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee rolled out its first general election campaign against Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters. The advertisements include a television ad in English and Spanish, a digital ad, and a Spanish radio ad.  

Meanwhile, the House Majority PAC rolled out an ad highlighting Biden’s record as president, including the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. The ad is titled “Deliver.”

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Campaign page for the latest news and coverage. See you Thursday. 

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