A supporter of Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro holds a flag in support of US former President Donald Trump during the launch of Bolsonaro's re-election campaign for the upcoming national elections in October, in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, on August 16, 2022. - Bolsonaro, 67, launched his campaign with a rally in Juiz de Fora, the small southeastern city where an attacker stabbed and nearly killed him during his 2018 campaign. The attack cemented Bolsonaro in the minds of die-hard supporters as "The Myth" -- a hero swooping in to rough up the political establishment and speak his mind with tough-talking clarity. (Photo by MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP)

When nominating the Republicans for the congressional elections in November, no one can easily avoid Donald Trump. But some do.

That’s why the primaries in Wyoming and Alaska attracted special attention on Wednesday night. Women ran there who had resisted the party’s trend towards subordination under Trump.

What’s more, Wyoming MP Liz Cheney and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski voted in the impeachment trial to remove Trump from office. And thus made him a personal enemy.

Trump spends a lot of energy fielding candidates loyal to him against both male and female opponents. And which he then supports in the inner-party election campaign.

The defeat of Liz Cheney, a member of the House of Representatives for six years, against Trump-backed Harriet Hagemann was expected. With 66 to 29 percent, Hagemann’s victory was even clearer than predicted.

And that in a state like Wyoming, where personal relationships still count. With 584,000 inhabitants, it is the least populated of the 50 states. The Cheney surname didn’t have a bad ring there.

Father Dick Cheney was Vice President under George W. Bush and had organized a lot of financial support from federal coffers in the various offices of his career.

Despite the defeat, enormous hopes continue to be pinned on Cheney: she is to prevent Trump’s second term in office by running for the 2024 presidential election.

If you look at all of the previous nominations across the United States, it is clear: Trump has enormous influence on the party. Anyone who opposes him openly risks defeat in the primaries.

Of the ten Republicans who voted for impeachment in the House of Representatives, only two have a chance to serve in the next Congress. Four didn’t even compete because they were hopeless. Four lost in the nomination of candidates in the primaries.

But there are also counterexamples. This includes the success of Lisa Murkowski in Alaska. With 44 percent, she took the lead in the field of applicants for the Senate seat.

Alaska has transitioned to an open area code system. There, the candidates are not chosen individually in each party, who then compete against each other in the main election. Instead, regardless of party affiliation, the top-placed candidates advance to the general election.

Looking ahead to the Senate, they are Murkowski and Kelly Tshibaka, who is more conservative, Trump-backed and just a few percentage points behind Murkowski. Murkowski has been in the Senate since 2002. Back then, her father had named her as his successor when he gave up the Senate seat to become governor.

The 65-year-old has distinguished herself as a Liberal Conservative in three terms. She voted with the Democrats against the Republicans on several occasions, for example when confirming constitutional judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is the first African American to sit on the Supreme Court. And she defends abortion freedom, a rarity among Republicans.

This has always rubbed her the wrong way in the party. In 2010 she was not put up as the Republican candidate, but a representative of the “Tea Party”, which represented the right wing of the party at the time. She started what she called a “write in” campaign, asking voters to write their name on the ballot – and won. In 2016, the party let her compete again as her candidate.

One goal of open primaries is to break the trend that both camps nominate moderate candidates in internal party primaries, but often ideological zealots. This has led to increasing numbers of right-wing Republicans and left-wing Democrats in Congress closing themselves to bipartisan compromises.

Rival Kelly Tshibaka is two decades younger, has previously worked in the Alaskan state service and attacks Murkowski for her willingness to cooperate partially with the Democrats. Alaska has a choice between a senator who will defend state interests and conservative values, and Murkowski who “works with the disastrous Biden administration and harms us every day.”

Former Gov. Sarah Palin is attempting a comeback in the nomination for Alaska state legislature. It is supported by Trump and is seen as a prototype for the Republicans’ shift from a party that stands for conservative values ​​and an economic policy that is as independent as possible of the state to a populist fighting organization that belittles political opponents and refuses to cooperate on principle.

In 2008, Republican presidential candidate John McCain made her a running mate. Despite Trump’s support, Palin came second with 31 percent behind Democrat Mary Peltola.