Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Liz Cheney: Another Tea Party Run at a Republican Senator?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Liz Cheney: Another Tea Party Run at a Republican Senator?

Article excerpt

Liz Cheney's ambush of US Sen. Mike Enzi (R) of Wyoming has its unique elements, starting with her ex-VP father Dick Cheney - her "best weapon," according to Politico.com.

But Ms. Cheney's challenging a long-time and very conservative Republican incumbent is part of a recent pattern within the GOP. Just ask ousted senators Bob Bennett of Utah and Dick Lugar of Indiana. To many in the party's tea party-tinged wing, the US Senate needs more rhetorical bomb-throwers like freshman Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas.

"There are no indispensable men," writes conservative blogger Eric Erickson, editor-in-chief of RedState.com.

"Mike Enzi is a fine Republican, but he is not putting points on the board for conservatives. We need more like Ted Cruz and less like ... well ... Mike Enzi," writes Erickson. "We need less rudderless Republicans who shuffle around at the direction of their leadership and lobbyist friends."

Yet at this point, the path to victory in a party primary fight with Sen. Enzi appears steep and rocky for Cheney.

Quickly lining up behind Enzi were Wyoming's other senator, John Barrasso, and the state's lone US Representative, Cynthia Lummis, as well as the National Republican Senatorial Committee led by Sen. Jerry Moran, (R) of Kansas.

Speaking on Bloomberg Television Friday night, Sen. John McCain endorsed Enzi as well.

"I'll tell you, he's one of these solid guys," Mr. McCain said. "I know nothing that Mike Enzi would do that didn't deserve re- election."

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More to the point, many Wyoming voters seem to have their doubts about Cheney's run at Enzi as well.

In a mock primary election conducted by the Republican Harper Polling firm, Enzi wallops Cheney 55-21 percent. Enzi's favorable/ unfavorable rating (76-6) and his job approval rating (73-9) are a politician's dream.

But there are warning signs for Enzi in the poll numbers as well.

Asked if he deserves reelection, just 48 percent say "yes". Large minorities are unsure (24 percent) or say it's time for someone new (28 percent). …

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