Liz Cheney encourages Wyoming Democrats to switch parties to vote for her

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Rep. Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming whose polls remain far behind her main Trump-endorsed challenger as her House committee hearings continue Jan. 6, is urging Democrats in her home state to switch parties to support her in the August 16 primary.

Last week, Democrats in Wyoming received a letter from Ms Cheney’s campaign with specific instructions on how to change their party affiliation to vote for her. Ms Cheney’s campaign website now has a link to a form to switch parties.

Joseph Barbuto, the chairman of the Wyoming Democratic Party, was among those who received instructions from Ms Cheney. Mr. Barbuto said that over the past week, his social media feeds have been flooded with Democrats — and only Democrats — posting about receiving mail from the Cheney campaign.

“I didn’t get any share from Republicans online or tell me they got it,” Barbuto said Thursday.

Recruiting Democratic supporters has been a sensitive topic for Ms. Cheney since she voted to impeach former President Donald J. Trump following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack. She kicked off her August primary contest with Harriet Hageman, who is allied and endorsed by Mr. Trump, as a battle for the soul of the Republican Party. Recruiting Democrats for this fight could undermine those efforts.

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In a February interview in Cheyenne, Wyo., Ms. Cheney dismissed the possibility that she was making a concerted effort to contact Democrats asking them to switch parties before the primary.

“It’s not something that I have considered, organized or will organize,” Ms Cheney told The New York Times at the time, adding that she would “work hard for every vote.”

Her spokesman, Jeremy Adler, said Thursday that Ms Cheney was “proud to represent all Wyoming people and works hard to win every vote.”

Ms Hageman’s campaign said Ms Cheney’s attempt to recruit Democrats represented a political about-face.

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“Liz Cheney told the New York Times that she wouldn’t encourage the Democrats to raid the Republican primary, but I guess the drive to hold on to power is just too strong to keep her word.” said Carly Miller, Ms. Hageman. campaign manager. “What Cheney doesn’t understand is that Democrats will drop her as a bad habit after she’s no longer useful to them on the Jan. 6 committee.”

Ms. Cheney’s tenure on the committee investigating the attack on the Capitol was a major topic of conversation at this month’s Wyoming Democratic Party convention in Rock Springs, Barbuto said. He called Democrats appreciative of her service on the committee, but said they would not forget that “she still has a voting record that was, 97% of the time, with Donald Trump.” while he was in office.

It’s fairly common for moderate Republicans in Wyoming to recruit Democrats to switch parties ahead of primaries — it was key to Governor Mark Gordon’s victory over a primary field that included Ms Hageman in 2018. Democrats and Independents may change party affiliation by mail. to 14 days before the primary, or they can do so at the polls on Election Day.

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Between January and June, the number of registered Republicans in Wyoming increased by 1,689, while the number of Democrats and unaffiliated voters fell by a total of 1,303, according to data from the office of the Secretary of State of the Wyoming. There are more than four times as many registered Republicans as Democrats in the state.

Mr Barbuto said he had heard of more Democrats planning to switch parties this year than in the past, but he predicted that would not be enough to help Ms Cheney survive the wrath of Republican primary voters in the state.

“Even if all the Democrats in the state changed,” he said, “I don’t think that would be enough to help him.”

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