Updated 4:21 p.m. | Republican Liz Cheney announced on Friday that she is against gay marriage and accused the National Republican Senatorial Committee of sponsoring a “push poll” against her.
“I am strongly pro-life and I am not pro-gay marriage,” Cheney said in a campaign news release.
She added that it is an issue that ought to be decided at the state level.
“I believe the issue of marriage must be decided by the states, and by the people in the states, not by judges and not even by legislators, but by the people themselves,” she added.
She voiced these opinions in the context of what her campaign alleged was a push poll which suggested that Cheney “supports abortion and aggressively promotes gay marriage.”
The statement included a sentence that tied the NRSC to the push poll. A push poll is typically a phony survey where the intent is not data collection but rather the dissemination of false information about a candidate.
“I call on Senator Enzi to denounce this poll and to tell the National Republican Senatorial Committee, or anyone else promoting untruths on his behalf, to stop,” Cheney added. Her spokeswoman, Celeste Colgan, tied Sen. Michael B. Enzi to the poll in the statement.
An NRSC spokesman told CQ Roll Call that they were “baffled by the statement and are not polling in Wyoming.” And an Enzi spokesman vigorously disputed Cheney’s allegation.
“Neither Mike Enzi’s campaign, nor anyone affiliated with his campaign, has conducted any polls in Wyoming,” said Enzi spokesman Coy Knobel. “He would never support a push poll, or tolerate anyone working for him who conducted one. For Liz Cheney to assert otherwise, without any proof whatsoever, shows more about her campaign than Mike Enzi’s.”
Knobel continued, “Mike Enzi prefers to focus on traveling around the state and talking to people one-on-one. That tells him what he needs to know about what Wyoming people are thinking.”
The Cheney campaign did not provide evidence that either the NRSC or Enzi was associated with the alleged push poll. And it is unlikely that a campaign committee, such as the NRSC, would spend money on a primary that will have almost certainly have no bearing on the outcome of which party holds the seat in the general election.
Aside from the politics, the anti-gay-marriage stance is notable because it puts Cheney at odds with her sister, Mary Cheney, who is openly gay and married her longtime partner, Heather Poe, last year.
Cheney’s father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, has said that while he backs gay marriage, he considers it a state issue.
Cheney has mounted a primary challenge to Enzi, who’s in his third term, for a safe Republican seat.