Rep. Liz Cheney has been teasing a 2024 presidential run ever since her crushing defeat in Wyoming’s Republican primary elections last week.
While Cheney has been very clear about her goal of preventing former President Donald Trump from gaining political office again, a presidential run could actually cut against that goal.
According to a survey of registered voters conducted by Yahoo News and YouGov, Cheney entering the presidential race could help Trump defeat President Joe Biden.
However, the one catch is that Cheney would need to run as an independent.
The poll found if an election were held today with Trump as the Republican nominee and Biden as the Democrat nominee, Biden would receive 42 percent of the vote. Trump would receive 39 percent of the vote, while 20 percent of voters said they would be undecided.
Yet when Cheney was added as an independent candidate in the poll, the numbers shifted dramatically.
In that scenario, just 29 percent of registered voters said they would vote for Biden. Thirty-seven percent said they would vote for Trump, giving him a comfortable lead of eight points and 11 percent said they would vote for Cheney. However, 23 percent of respondents were undecided.
The poll included responses from 1,563 American adults and had a margin of error of about 2.6 percent, Yahoo News said.
This shift would seem to confirm two hypotheses many Americans have already made. First, Democrats do not appear to be sold on the idea of Biden as the Democrat nominee in 2024.
Cheney is hardly on the far left, at least as far as her policies are concerned. Despite her constant criticism of Trump, she voted with him 93 percent of the time during her congressional career, Newsweek reported.
The fact that a candidate with a relatively conservative voting record was able to shift a good portion of the vote away from Biden suggests some Democrats are ready to support nearly any candidate in place of Biden, so long as that candidate shares in their hatred of Donald Trump.
The party breakdown of the Yahoo News/YouGov poll further supports this idea. With only Biden and Trump listed as candidates, 87 percent of Democrats said they would vote for Biden. Only six percent said they would vote for Trump, and seven percent said they were undecided.
But when Cheney was added as a third option, only 66 percent of Democrats said they would vote for Biden, and six percent said they would vote for Trump. Twelve percent of registered Democrats said they would vote for Cheney, and 16 percent were undecided, suggesting they would consider voting for Cheney instead of Biden.
The mere addition of Cheney as an option cuts Biden’s support among Democrats in a hypothetical 2024 race by a whopping 21 percent. If I were Biden, those numbers would greatly concern me.
Second, the poll seemed to show Cheney would not be able to shift very many Republican votes away from Trump. This is not surprising either, because she has spent most of the last two years discussing her hatred of Trump instead of her actual policy ideas.
When only Trump and Biden were presented as options in the poll, 85 percent of Republicans said they would vote for Trump, five percent would vote for Biden and 10 percent were undecided.
With Cheney as an option, 80 percent of Republicans said they would vote for Trump, three percent said Biden, seven percent said Cheney and 10 percent were undecided. While the addition of Cheney did cut Republican support of Trump by five percent, it was nowhere near the massive shift it caused among Democrats.
Given her conservative voting record and her hatred of Trump, Cheney is unlikely to garner enough support to win a nomination from either Republicans or Democrats. Running as an independent would seem to be her only legitimate path to advance to the general election, and that choice might just help her arch-enemy win the presidency.
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