Rep. Liz Cheney lost an uphill battle to retain Wyoming’s seat in the U.S. House in Tuesday’s Republican primary, becoming the seventh House Republican to fall to a Donald Trump-backed challenger since 2018.
House members ousted Cheney as their No. 3 last year after she called out Trump’s false statements about the 2020 presidential election and refused to soften her stance. She has taken on a key role in the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attacks, skewering the former president and his allies for their alleged roles in fomenting the rage that day.
“Two years ago, I won this primary with 73 percent of the vote. I could easily have done the same again,” Cheney said in her concession speech. “The path was clear. But it 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. That was a path I could not and would not take.”
Of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, only six decided to run for reelection. Separately, since 2018, incumbent House Republicans have lost eight primary races where Trump either remained uninvolved or backed an incumbent who lost.
Redistricting years typically result in more vulnerable incumbents, complicating comparisons to the Tea Party movement that resulted in major upsets after the 2010 midterms, culminating in Speaker Eric Cantor losing renomination in 2014. Jacob Rubashkin, reporter and analyst at Inside Elections, noted that between 2010 and 2014, Republican losses were “more spontaneous.”
“You never quite knew who was gonna be next,” Rubashkin said. “Nowadays, we know exactly who’s gonna be next because we all get a press release in our inbox saying, ‘This person’s next on the list.’”
Here’s a look at what happened to the incumbent Republicans who lost their House primaries since Trump was elected: