Earlier in the week we reported that Harper Polling surveyed the Wyoming Republican electorate and found newly announced challenger Liz Cheney to be badly trailing incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi (21-55 percent) in the Republican primary. Now, Public Policy Polling (July 19-21; 780 Republican Wyoming primary voters) confirms Cheney’s difficulty factory in denying Enzi renomination, brandishing a similar 26-54 percent spread.
PPP asked pointed questions about whether or not the state GOP electorate even considers Cheney a Wyomingite. According to their question, 36 percent of the Republican respondents do consider the former vice president and Wyoming congressman’s daughter a fellow Equality State resident, while almost half, 44 percent, do not.
Asked further whether they think it more appropriate for Cheney to run for the Senate from Virginia rather than Wyoming, by a margin of 45-33 percent, the individuals comprising this survey sample stated that she should run in the Old Dominion.
Approval ratings were also tested. Sen. Enzi scores a 66:24 percent job approval rating from his Republican base. Cheney earns a 40:34 percent favorable to unfavorable ratio. In comparison, Rep. Cynthia Lummis’ (R-WY-AL) job approval ratio is 55:25 percent. As a follow-up, should Enzi, for some unforeseen reason, decide not to make the race next year and the candidates become Cheney and Rep. Lummis, the congresswoman would have only a slight advantage. According to the PPP data, Lummis would lead Cheney 41-34 percent.
So far, the results of the two earliest polls rate Cheney as a long shot, at best, to upset Sen. Enzi. Based upon data we are seeing elsewhere and sizing up the 2016 presidential field, there is an argument to be made that the former vice president’s daughter might actually have a better shot at capturing the Republican presidential nomination than she would in winning this Wyoming Senate race against Enzi. Secondly, based upon her first ballot test opposite only Rep. Lummis, her chances appear much brighter in running against the congresswoman than they do against the state’s senior senator.
Another daughter of a prominent political figure made official her own run for the Senate. Yesterday, as was previously predicted, Michelle Nunn, former Sen. Sam Nunn’s (D) only daughter, officially filed her candidate committee formation documents to run for the United States Senate.
Nunn is the CEO of the Points of Light Foundation, the organization inspired by President George H.W. Bush’s highlighting his desire for increased volunteerism within the nation.
Considering that Rep. John Barrow (D-GA-12), thought by most to be the Democrats’ best statewide candidate, has already made public his intention to bypass the statewide contest and run for re-election, Ms. Nunn appears to be the consensus party candidate. If she is to overcome what could be a Republican advantage in the fall 2014 general election, Ms. Nunn will need all the time she has to raise the money necessary to compete.
The Republican primary is a five-candidate affair, and each has a legitimate path to victory. With their race surely going to a secondary run-off vote between the top two finishing primary contenders, she will have a full year to campaign without knowing the identity of her eventual opponent.
At this stage, Michelle Nunn is in an underdog position for this seat, but a close, divisive Republican primary and run-off could potentially change the race dynamics. At least, that’s what she and the national Democratic Party leaders are hoping.