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Rep. Liz Cheney loses GOP primary, vows to remain in politics

Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman discusses what Rep. Liz Cheney's (R-WY) loss means for Trump-backed candidates in the midterm elections as well as Andrew Yang's attempts to jump-start a third party in U.S. politics.

Video Transcript

- Three term GOP representative for Wyoming Liz Cheney suffered a crushing defeat in the state's primary. That's in line with expectations for most after Cheney opposed former President Donald Trump. Despite conceding, Cheney hinted that she will not leave the political arena and called for Americans to unite against the former President.

LIZ CHENEY: Let us resolve that we will stand together, Republicans, Democrats, and independents, against those who would destroy our republic.

- Joining us with more insight is Yahoo Finance's columnist Rick Newman. Good to see you as well. Look, besides this race with Cheney, it was very clear. I mean, former President Trump still has strong, strong influence in the Republican Party.

RICK NEWMAN: Right. This is a clear win for Trump. He has been against Cheney since she came out against him in 2021. And of course, she has been one of the leaders of the January 6 committee in Congress detailing everything Trump did leading up to the riots at the Capitol. So you're right. Not a surprise. Wyoming is the Trumpiest state in the country. Trump got 70% of the vote in the presidential election there. So everybody saw this coming.

I think the question for the Republican Party-- I mean, it's clear that Trump still has an iron grip on the party. I think the question is whether these Trump-backed candidates can win general elections. We'll get a hint of that in the midterms coming up in less than three months. But my guess is it's going to be indecisive, Brian. Probably some Trump candidates will win and some will not win, which leads us straight into the 2024 presidential election.

And Liz Cheney did say this morning on the "Today Show" she is considering a run for President in 2024. The problem is she needs a party. She's not going to get anywhere if she tries to run for President as a Republican. She's obviously not a Democrat. So that puts her in the kind of no man's land of some kind of independent or third party run, which would have a very low odds of success. So it remains to be seen how she's going to continue her crusade against Donald Trump.

- And so speaking of people who are looking for a party right now, Andrew Yang tweeting this morning even about what taking place in Wyoming and particularly what validation it gave to the kind of Trumpiest elements of the GOP as well and that going into the midterm election. What does that kind of spell out to you?

RICK NEWMAN: Well, Andrew Yang has joined forces with Christine Todd Whitman, the former governor of New Jersey. Yang, who has run as a Democrat. Whitman, who has run as a Republican. And they are trying to form a third party for moderates and centrists who are disgusted with what they see on both the Democratic and the Republican side. And there are a lot of moderates and independents who fit that description.

There's one giant problem with the third party, though, guys, which is we have an electoral college which awards victory to the winner. You need a majority and not a plurality to get elected at the presidential level. So if you cannot win with a plurality at the presidential level, it's going to be hard to develop a party lower down the ballot that voters are really going to sign on to.

I mean, there have been other efforts at third parties. Ross Perot tried to run as an independent back in 1992. Didn't get very far. So it's frustrating for a lot of people in the middle because they feel neither party represents them. But there's no party for them to align with that has their backs or represents their views. So, I mean, it's a fascinating time in American politics. A lot of people are very concerned by where Trumpism might still be headed. But it's interesting.

- Interesting indeed. Yahoo Finance columnist Rick Newman, good to see you.

RICK NEWMAN: Bye, guys.