The 2024 presidential race could witness a new and potentially game-changing entry: former GOP Rep. Liz Cheney. Cheney, known for her staunch opposition to Donald Trump, suggested last week that she might throw her hat in the ring. Her aim? To siphon votes from Trump, who currently appears poised to breeze through the GOP’s nominating process.
In a recent interview with USA Today, Cheney, who was ousted from her congressional seat for challenging Trump post-January 6 insurrection, spoke about the dire need for a bipartisan coalition to prevent Trump’s return to power. She even suggested that conservatives worried about U.S. democracy should consider voting for Democrats in the House, as the GOP under Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) might refuse to certify election results if Trump lost and refused to concede.
While Cheney’s political views are far from progressive – she’s a foreign policy hawk, opposes abortion, rejects gun control, and supports tax breaks for the wealthy – her vocal criticism of Trumpism and its threat to democracy has been unyielding. Cheney’s potential candidacy would add an intriguing layer to an already complex election, with her team likely weighing the impact her run could have on Trump’s chances.
The 2024 election is shaping up to be unusually unpredictable, with several independent candidates, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cornel West, Jill Stein, and potentially Joe Manchin, adding to the mix. Their involvement could significantly alter the political landscape, drawing voters from across the spectrum and potentially influencing the outcome in unexpected ways.
Cheney’s decision will depend on the dynamics of these independent campaigns and the possibility of a fragmented electorate. In a scenario reminiscent of Ross Perot in 1992 or George Wallace in 1968, the presence of multiple candidates could lead to a candidate securing Electoral College votes with a minority of the popular vote. This kind of split could either hinder or help Trump, depending on how the votes are distributed.
Given the current political climate, with a large portion of voters dissatisfied with both Trump and Biden and the unprecedented number of potential third-party candidates, the 2024 election could see a level of volatility and unpredictability not witnessed in decades. Cheney’s possible entry into the race, while a long shot for victory, could significantly impact the electoral dynamics, either fragmenting the anti-Trump vote or providing a rallying point for those opposed to his return.
As the race heats up, Cheney’s decision to run – and its potential consequences – will be closely watched by both sides of the political aisle. With the electorate’s dissatisfaction with the status quo, her candidacy could be a wild card, adding more uncertainty to an already tumultuous election season.