Liz Cheney Losing Battle on Turning Republican Voters Against Donald Trump

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) continues with her bid to shift the GOP away from former President Donald Trump, but his grip on Republican voters appears to be holding.

Cheney was one of 10 Republican lawmakers in the House to vote for Trump's impeachment. She has since faced a sustained backlash from his allies.

Despite this, a recent vote among GOP representatives saw Cheney retain her position as House Republican Conference chair—and she has persisted in her criticism of Trump since.

"I think when you look at both his actions leading up to what happened on January 6, the fact that he was impeached in a bipartisan fashion, the fact that he lost the presidency, the fact that we lost the Senate, we have to be in a position where we can say we stand for principle, we stand for ideal," Cheney said in an interview on Fox News on Sunday.

"Somebody who has provoked an attack on the United States Capitol to prevent the counting of electoral votes, which resulted in five people dying, who refused to stand up immediately when he was asked and stop the violence, that—that is a person who does not have a role as a leader of our party going forward."

She further said Republicans should "not be embracing the former president."

While Cheney has stood by her decision to vote to impeach and voiced her stance against Trump influencing the Republican Party, polling has indicated most Republicans are somewhat at odds with her stance.

In polling, most Republicans have suggested they do not think Trump bears responsibility for the violence at the Capitol.

Recent AP-NORC polling showed that of 1,055 U.S. adults asked January 28 to February 1 most Americans think Trump does shoulder some blame—but that most Republicans do not feel that way.

Of those asked, 50 percent overall said he bore a great deal of responsibility for the breach, 13 percent a moderate amount and 36 percent said little or none.

But among Republicans, 71 percent said he bore little or no responsibility for it, compared to 18 for a moderate amount and 11 for a great deal.

A separate ABC News/Ipsos poll similarly showed significantly a smaller percentage of Republicans backing conviction in Trump's impeachment trial compared to other voters.

Overall, 56 percent of 508 U.S. asked February 5 to 6 said that Trump should be convicted and barred from holding future office. But among Republicans, the number who backed that course of action was 15 percent.

Polling generally has shown a solid majority of Republicans want to see the president acquitted.

As well as support for his impeachment, a majority of Republicans also continue to back his dispute of the election outcome.

In polls since election day and even since Biden's inauguration, many Republican voters have said they still do not believe Joe Biden legitimately won the election.

Trump persisted with claims that widespread fraud occurred throughout the presidential election and facilitated Biden's win, though there is no evidence of such issues on a scale which would have impacted the outcome.

In the AP-NORC polling, overall 66 percent said they think Biden legitimately won. But looking by party affiliation, 65 percent of Republicans said they felt he was not legitimately elected.

This has been the case repeatedly in polling, with Republicans standing by this stance even after Biden assumed office.

Other surveys have shown many Republicans still have a positive view of the former president, while he has also tipped as continuing to influence the GOP and to even potentially be the party's presidential candidate again in 2024 should he avoid be barred from holding office.

Trump's Senate impeachment trial is due to begin on Tuesday. While many Republican lawmakers have condemned his actions surrounding January 6, it appears unlikely enough GOP senators would vote against him to see him convicted. Most voted to state their opinion the trial itself is unconstitutional in a recent Senate vote, indicating the unlikeliness of enough then voting in a great enough number to convict down the line.

Newsweek has contacted Cheney for comment.

liz cheney walks to house floor
U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) heads to the House floor to vote at the U.S. Capitol on February 03, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Cheney voted to impeach former President Donald Trump and continues to speak against him despite a backlash from some Republicans. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images