A new poll shows Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming badly trailing challenger Harriet Hageman as Tuesday’s Republican primary nears.
Hageman, who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, received 57 percent support in the poll by the University of Wyoming.
Cheney, who has bitterly attacked Trump over the Capitol incursion, received 28 percent support.
Ten percent of those surveyed said they were undecided, while three other candidates split the remaining share.
“When looking only at residents who say they are Republican and likely voters in the primary, we actually see Hageman leading by roughly 50 points,” Brian Harnisch, director of the survey center at the University of Wyoming, said in a news release from the school. Cheney only had 15 percent support among Republicans planning to vote in the primary.
The Real Clear Politics average of polls in the race has Hageman leading by 25.5 percent.
“The race for the Republican nomination appears to be a referendum on Cheney, as it usually is when an incumbent seeks reelection,” said Jim King, a professor of political science at UW.
Forty-one percent of those not backing Cheney said their vote was in opposition to her.
“When you have a candidate, particularly Hageman, with a large lead but roughly two-fifths of her support comes from people who are opposing the incumbent, that clearly puts us in a referendum type of election, and Cheney is losing the referendum,” King said, according to Wyoming Public Media.
Does Cheney deserve to be defeated?
“For Cheney to be successful, in particular, she needs to do very well among independents, and she’s not doing well enough to overcome Hageman’s advantage among Republican identifiers,” he added.
Among Democrats who said they would register Republican and vote in the GOP primary, 98 percent supported Cheney.
“There has been much talk in the media about Democrats crossing over and voting in the Republican primary; this group is not especially large,” King said.
“Back-of-the-napkin math says that number could represent as many as 20,000 votes in the GOP primary from currently registered Democrats, compared to as many as 200,000-plus votes from registered Republicans,” Harnisch said.
“It does not appear at the time of this survey the numbers are there for party switching to have a significant effect on the outcome of this race.”
The survey was conducted from July 25 to Aug. 6 among 836 Wyoming residents. Of those, 562 were identified as likely voters in the GOP primary. The margin of error for primary questions was +/- 4.1 percentage points.