Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney has waded into the highly watched gubernatorial race in Arizona between Republican Kari Lake and Democrat Katie Hobbs, but it may be ineffective and probably backfire.
Although Cheney and former President Donald Trump used to be political allies, the 2020 election created a rift between the two, and the congresswoman became the leading Republican voice opposing him.
“I’m going to do everything I can to make sure Kari Lake is not elected,” she said at The Texas Tribune festival on Saturday, as RedState’s Bonchie reported.
.@Liz_Cheney: “I’m going to do everything I can to make sure Kari Lake is not elected.”
Does that include campaigning for Democrats?
— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) September 25, 2022
She said that she would even boost a Democrat in order to oust her, which would be Hobbs, the current secretary of state. Now that Cheney’s time in office will be coming to an end in January after losing her primary, she is focusing on other races by working against Republicans who believe the 2020 election was stolen.
While it makes sense that Cheney would not support Lake, her desire to get involved in the race would be a poorly calculated move and a waste of time on her end. It also misses the mark on what the average Arizona voter cares about, and it would therefore not be an effective use of Cheney’s resources and influence.
If she wanted to very publicly communicate to Arizona her opposition to the Republican nominee, whether that’s through a commercial or hitting the campaign trail with Hobbs, it would only empower and mobilize Lake’s biggest supporters. It might even boost voter turnout among Republicans, due to their strong dislike of Cheney.
Of course, it’s pretty easy to see that the Wyoming congresswoman would be targetting independent voters, which Arizona has no shortage of. For those swing voters who believe that the consequences resulting from the 2020 election saga are a top issue, they’re probably already backing Hobbs. But the fact is that the economy is going to be a more prominent issue on people’s minds, and Cheney wouldn’t be flying down to the desert to talk about fiscal responsibility if she did.
Many voters are more interested in solutions for a brighter future than relitigating dark moments in the recent past. Even some moderate voters are probably not gung ho about the televised, January 6th Committee hearings, and may have viewed them as divisive.
Although Cheney is entitled to her opinions on the Arizona race, her involvement would likely energize the Republican grassroots, prove ineffective at moving many Independents, and even leave a bad taste in the mouth of leftists already backing Hobbs.