While polling shows Hageman has taken a huge lead with the primary just around the corner, the American donor class has taken notice of Cheney’s shrinking chances of retaining her seat on August 16. Fearing Cheney may lose through a series of political miscalculations, establishment donors are coming out of the woodwork to protect one of their own.
One of the Democrats’ most prominent donors, film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, who has funded Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s former presidential campaigns, has donated at least $43,000 to Cheney. The totality of the sum has not been disclosed for unknown reasons.
“We agree on little, if anything,” Katzenberg admitted in an interview with the New York Times. “But she has done something that very, very few people in history have done, which is she’s put her country over party and politics to stand in defense of our Constitution.”
Dmitri Mehlhorn, a strategist who advises far-left LinkedIn co-founder and Democrat donor Reid Hoffman, is also supporting Cheney’s reelection bid. “Cheney is the most important politician in America right now,” Mehlhorn alleged to the Times.
Additional Democrat donors include Google executive Vint Cerf, Jane Fraser, the chief executive of Citigroup, and Boston-based billionaire hedge fund manager Seth Klarman, who views himself more aligned with the establishment.
“I strongly support Congresswoman Cheney’s bid for re-election,” Klarman told Times. “I’m resolved to do everything possible to send a strong message by keeping her in Congress. We need to stand behind Liz and send a rebuke to the most extreme factions in the Republican Party.”
Cerf, a prominent Democrat donor and friend of Cheney, told the Times he gave the candidate $2,900 as a “show of gratitude more than anything.”
“As I looked at what Liz Cheney did, which was brave in the face of enormous pressure from others in her party, to stand up to them and say, ‘No, this is wrong,’ I was impressed enough by that to say, ‘You know what? She deserves support for that,'” Cerf stated.
The Democrat donors have taken an interest in the Wyoming primary after Cheney’s campaign began soliciting Democrat votes last month. May and June polling data shows Cheney losing to Hageman by 28 and 30 points. CNN has cited the polling data as troubling in an article entitled “Why Liz Cheney is in a lot of trouble in Wyoming.”
“We shouldn’t mistake adoring press coverage and bipartisan bona fides for popularity in the place where popularity matters most for Cheney: Wyoming,” CNN’s Harry Enten analyzed. “A look at the data reveals that Cheney should be regarded as the clear underdog in her efforts to retain her seat.”
During the campaign season, Cheney has spent large amounts of time helping Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) highly promoted January 6 committee hearings. On Thursday, Cheney even accepted President Biden’s invitation to attend the televised Medal of Freedom ceremony 1,711 miles away from Casper, Wyoming. It is relatively unheard for a Republican candidate to be seen at the Democrat-controlled White House, far away from her home state one month from Election Day.
Cheney’s absence from the Cowboy State has been a key issue in the voters’ minds. “She understands she has to campaign and earn the trust of voters — I would certainly like to see her here more,” state Rep. Landon Brown (R) told the Times.
But Cheney has her own reasons for remaining in Washington. “I’m not going to convince the crazies and I reject the crazies,” Cheney said at a Republican event for Wyoming voters in February.
Hageman has pushed back on Cheney’s opinion of Wyoming voters. “Liz Cheney has lost Wyoming. Liz Cheney doesn’t live in Wyoming. She doesn’t represent us,” Hageman told Breitbart News. “She doesn’t represent our values.”