Alaska and Wyoming hold primary elections

Elections 2022

(NewsNation) — Voters in Alaska and Wyoming head to the polls Tuesday, determining the fate of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney and the influence former President Donald Trump has on Republican voters.

Overnight, Trump continued to post about the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago, possibly influencing more voters to head to the polls and back Trump-endorsed candidates.

Wyoming

Cheney has served at the Capitol since 2017, but recent involvement on the Jan. 6 committee and her stance against Trump has found her down over 20 percentage points in multiple polls. Tuesday’s primary election will determine whether she gets to keep her seat in the House.

Cheney became one of 10 House Republican members to vote to impeach Trump in the aftermath of Jan. 6. Now, she currently serves on the special committee investigating the incident.

Over the last year and a half, she’s also continued to push back against the false stolen election claims

Trump won Wyoming in 2020 with 70% of the vote, and now — watching the race closely — he has backed Cheney’s challenger Harriet Hageman, a Cheyenne ranching industry attorney who was little known outside the state before winning Trump’s endorsement last year.

Of the 10 House Republican members who voted to impeach the former president, just two won their primaries this year. The rest either lost or chose not to run. Cheney would be just the third to win if she pulls off the upset Tuesday night. 

Cheney’s best hope is that enough Wyoming Democrats will switch parties to vote for her instead of their own party’s three candidates — none of whom stands a chance in November’s general election. Even Cheney’s close allies say she might be putting principle above success in this race.

Alaska

Primary elections in Alaska Tuesday will also be big contests to watch.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski faces a primary after being one of seven senators who voted to impeach Trump after the Capitol Riots. In similar fashion, Trump has endorsed her challenger Kelly Tshibaka. 

Also, former Gov. Sarah Palin is back Tuesday with her name on two different ballots: once in a special election to complete the term of U.S. Rep. Don Young, who died in March 2022 after serving almost 50 years in the House, and another for a full two-year House term starting in January.

The former vice-presidential candidate has been out of office for more than a decade, but is betting her insurgent brand of conservativism can make her a hit again in the age of Trumpism.

Endorsed by Trump, she is running to fill Young’s seat,

If Palin wins the special election, she could be back at the Capitol as soon as next month. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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