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Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, attends a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on July 19, 2022, in Washington.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, attends a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on July 19, 2022, in Washington.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images file

5 ads that define Tuesday’s primaries 

Voters in Wyoming and Alaska head to the polls Tuesday.


Two critics of former President Donald Trump are facing primaries on Tuesday, when voters in Alaska and Wyoming head to the polls. 

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., are both facing Trump-backed primary challengers. Murkowski is expected to advance to the November election thanks to the state’s top four primary system, while recent polling has shown Cheney is likely headed for defeat. 

Here are five ads that define Tuesday’s primaries: 

1. Dick Cheney as the closer

Cheney’s most recent ad on the airwaves, per the ad tracking firm AdImpact, is the minute-long spot featuring her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, who goes directly after Trump.

Some Republicans targeted by Trump have avoided discussing the former president in their races. But Cheney clearly hasn’t done so, focusing her closing argument in the race on Trump and his lies about the 2020 election. 

2. Murkowski stresses seniority

Murkowski, on the other hand, hasn’t talked about Trump in her ads. Instead she’s stressed her bipartisan credentials and her work in Congress. 

In this ad, Murkwoski says her seniority in the Senate guarantees “real results” for Alaska, and stresses that she works across party lines. 

3. The case against Cheney

Cheney has faced attacks on the airwaves from her primary opponent, Harriet Hageman, as well as outside groups including Club for Growth Action and a super PAC called Wyoming Values. 

Wyoming Values’ latest ad ties Cheney to Democratic leaders, including President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and features footage of Hageman at a recent rally saying, “We’re fed up with Liz Cheney.”  

4. The case against Murkowski

Kelly Tshibaka, the former Commissioner of the state Department of Administration, has attempted to make her case against Murkowski by highlighting Trump’s criticism of the senator and painting her as a “career politician.”

“Alaskans know Lisa Murkowski cannot be trusted,” a narrator says in Tshibaka’s most recent TV ad.

5. House race goes negative

Alaska is also holding a special election to replace the late GOP Rep. Don Young, who represented the entire state in the House. The race, which is the state’s first test of its new ranked choice voting system, features Republicans Nick Begich III and former Gov. Sarah Palin, along with former Democratic state Rep. Mary Peltola and multiple write-in candidates. 

All three are also competing in a primary Tuesday for a full term in Congress. And the race has turned negative. In one recent ad, Begich’s campaign knocks Palin’s actions as governor and chides her for  being “famous,” while featuring an image of Palin’s performance on “The Masked Singer” TV show.