“On the Holmes Front,” with Frank Holmes
Republicans are confident—perhaps overconfident—about winning the 2022 midterm elections. But a new poll says, if the stars align just right, they can count on their biggest victory yet: returning President Donald Trump to the White House for a second term in 2024.
What has to happen for Trump to win? He’d prevail if he takes on Joe Biden… and outgoing Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.
Cheney, who lost her Republican congressional primary in a nearly 40-point landslide blowout, seems to think she has what it takes to win the presidency in 27 months. But the polls tell a different story.
A brand new YahooNews/YouGov poll found that Joe Biden would beat Donald Trump by four points in a one-on-one match—a finding that is an outlier for most polls. But if Liz Cheney threw her hat into the ring, Trump would win re-election by an eight-point margin.
With Cheney running as a NeverTrump indepedent candidate in a three-way race, Trump would win 40 percent of the vote; Biden would get 32 percent; and Cheney would have a meager 11 percent.
“The problem for Biden is that nearly all of Cheney’s votes come at his expense — and there are enough of them, in theory, to put Trump over the top,” wrote reporter Andrew Romano, the West Coast correspondent for YahooNews. In fact, Cheney would siphon off more than one out of every five Democratic voters from Biden in the general election. Republicans aren’t interested in backing a Cheney candidacy.
Why would they? Almost two-thirds of Republicans hold a negative view of Cheney, and only 18 percent like her. But the Democratic numbers are the exact mirror image.
“A full 69% of Cheney’s support among registered voters comes from those who would otherwise support Biden on a two-way ballot. Just 15% comes from Trump supporters,” wrote Roamno. The undecided would make up 16 percent of her hypothetical vote total.
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That’s terrible news for Cheney, who said after her congressional defeat that the next phase of her political career will be dedicated to “doing whatever it takes to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office.” She said she would absolutely not “rule out” a run for president in 2024 as an independent or on a third party ticket.
She has been “not ruling out” a presidential run for more than a year. When the New York Post asked her about a future presidential bid in April 2021, she answered, “I’m not ruling anything in or out.” Then in November she spoke at a dinner in New Hampshire, which holds the nation’s first presidential primary, which President Trump also headlined during his 2016 campaign. Again last month, she told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “At this point, I haven’t made a decision on 2024 … I’ll make a decision on 2024 down the road.”
That’s pretty gutsy, considering she just got shellacked in her congressional run in her adopted “home” state, with the voters who know her the best. But the media have been talking her up: The Associated Press published a story with the breathtaking headline, “Liz Cheney braces for primary loss as focus shifts to 2024.”
At least the lame-duck congresswoman is taking herself very seriously. Cheney filed paperwork on August 15 to set up a new PAC. Reporters are expecting her to call it The Great Task PAC. Its purpose is “to mobilize a unified effort to oppose any Donald Trump campaign for president,” Cheney spokesman Jeremy Adler told Politico.
Some have said she could impact the race by running, not as an independent, but as a Republican alternative in the 2024 Republican presidential primaries.
The polls basically say: good luck with that.
If Cheney runs in the Republican primaries, she barely rates a blip on the radar. She’ll win just six percent of the vote. That’s roughly how she’d do in a three-way contest with Biden and Trump.
Still, some commentators have tried to drum up interest in a Cheney ‘24 candidacy. Political analyst Bill Schneider recently noted that both Trump and Biden have high negatives before writing, “If we end up with a race between two unpopular contenders, anything could happen.” Not quite anything; Cheney will not win in 2024, no matter which direction she decides to drive her oversized ambition.
Thanks to polling, we know exactly how it will come out: the return of the man Joe Biden calls “the great MAGA King” to the Oval Office.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”