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Just 2 of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump advance to November election

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) became the latest House Republican pushed out of Congress by GOP primary voters.

By Emily Singer - August 17, 2022
Liz Cheney
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., listens during a House Armed Services Committee on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan at the Rayburn House Office building on Capitol Hill on September 29, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) lost her Republican primary election Tuesday night to Harriet Hageman by a whopping 37 points.

In doing so, Cheney became the latest Republican lawmaker to lose their renomination bid after voting to impeach former President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the United States Capitol.

Of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the riot at the Capitol, just two have survived primary challenges this election cycle. The rest have either been voted out by GOP primary voters or chose to retire from Congress.

Cheney joins Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Peter Meijer (R-MI), and Tom Rice (R-SC) in losing their GOP primaries to pro-Trump candidates. Four others — Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), John Katko (R-NY), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), and Fred Upton (R-MI) — chose to retire rather than seek reelection.

Ultimately, just two House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump will face voters in November after advancing past the primaries. They are Reps. David Valadao (R-CA) and Dan Newhouse (R-WA).

Valadao is vulnerable in a general election. His California district has a 10-point Democratic lean, according to FiveThirtyEight, which makes the seat ripe for a Democratic pick-up this fall.

Valadao advanced to the general election by the skin of his teeth, coming in second 2 points ahead of his GOP primary opponent Chris Mathys. California has a top-two primary system in which the two highest vote recipients advance to the general election regardless of their political party.

The fact that nearly every GOP impeachment voter was forced out of Congress is a clear sign that Trump still has a stranglehold on the Republican Party.

“Between retirements (Kinzinger, Gonzales, Upton, Katko, Jacobs) and primary defeats (McKinley, Davis, Rice, Meijer, Herrera Beutler), we’re watching a slow-motion decimation of House GOP Trump skeptics and election certifiers,” Cook Political Report analyst Dave Wasserman tweeted on August 8.

A number of the Republicans who either retired or lost renomination criticized their party for being subservient to Trump.

In her concession speech, Cheney said she had a “clear” path to winning renomination that “would have required that I go along with President Trump’s lie about the 2020 election.”

“It would have required that I enable his ongoing efforts to unravel our democratic system and attack the foundations of our republic,” Cheney said. “That was a path I could not and would not take.”

Meijer, who lost an Aug. 2 primary to a Trump-endorsed election denier, also lamented the direction of his party.

In an interview with the New York Times, Meijer said that in 2022, Republican candidates have to lie about the 2020 election being stolen in order to win their primaries.

“I can’t tell you the number of times somebody said, ‘You don’t have to believe the election is stolen, the important thing isn’t believing it, it’s saying it,'” Meijer told the New York Times. “That is what a Republican is supposed to do right now.”

Gonzalez, who was one of the first GOP impeachment voters to announce their retirement back in September 2021, called Trump a “cancer for the country” and refused to show fealty to Trump.

“This is the direction that we’re going to go in for the next two years and potentially four, and it’s going to make Trump the center of fundraising efforts and political outreach,” Gonzalez told the New York Times upon his retirement. “That’s not something I’m going to be part of.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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