America Is Not Ready For “Yosemite Samantha”

CD-3 GOP nominee Lauren Boebert.

Recapping by a wide margin the most unexpected development in last night’s primary elections in Colorado, the stunning upset victory by QAnon-loving COVID-denying gun-toting Rifle restaurant owner Lauren Boebert over five-term incumbent GOP Rep. Scott Tipton that has instantly put the seat in play for Democrats–starting with the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby:

On Tuesday night, with her holstered Glock dangling from a designer belt, Boebert repeated her campaign mottos over and over as she talked before and after the stunning final results were announced.

“Now I’m ready to take this same fight that I have always had in me, whether it’s telling (Texas Democrat) Beto O’Rourke you’re not going to take our guns, or standing up to Governor Jared Polis when he shut down small businesses (during COVD-19), and even taking a stand against my Republican opponent when he said he’s conservative but his voting record clearly shows he is not. And now I’m ready to take that same fight to the Democrats starting tomorrow.”

With her 100-watt smile and auctioneer enthusiasm, Boebert’s confidence never waned throughout the campaign that started on Dec. 9.

Lauren Boebert’s meteoric ascent from individual activist shouting at Beto O’Rourke to actually taking down Scott Tipton in the Republican primary despite a tiny fraction of the incumbent’s resources and Donald Trump’s personal endorsement of Tipton is a major shock to the Republican hierarchy in Colorado. There are a number of reasons for this historic upset, not least being Tipton’s own well-established reputation as an uninspiring back-bencher in Congress. In the Trump era of Republican politics, it’s entertainment and bombast that wins, and Lauren Boebert is more entertainingly bombastic than Tipton on her worst day. If we were Doug Lamborn, we’d be watching our back like never before in 2022.

But as the nation absorbs the news of exactly who has won the Colorado CD-3 Republican primary, a pretty basic problem emerges–Lauren Boebert is most likely not electable. CNN:

[Boebert’s] win Tuesday night was met with instant criticism from Democrats who pointed to comments she made where she appeared to sympathize with QAnon, a pro-Trump deep-state conspiracy theory…

Cheri Bustos, chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Tuesday evening. “Not even multiple endorsements from President Trump could save Congressman Scott R. Tipton from his extreme, QAnon caucus challenger. Washington Republicans should immediately disavow Lauren Boebert and her extremist, dangerous conspiracy theories.”

Bustos added that “Democrats are well positioned to compete and win this seat.” [Pols emphasis]

After Democrats took down Rep. Mike Coffman in the 2018 elections, CD-3 became the only feasible pickup opportunity for House Democrats left in the state. Democrats were therefore expected to make some greater effort to contest the seat than they had in previous elections, in which Tipton has always comfortably held off his opponents. With Boebert as the nominee, CD-3 instantly transforms from a longshot for Democrats to a very serious pickup opportunity.

If Republicans have any interest in holding this seat, they are flying consultants right now to Grand Junction to slap a filter on Boebert’s unrestrained crazypants talk-radio rhetoric. The professionalization of this upstart campaign, or not depending on whether Boebert is in any mood to be “filtered,” will be a key test of her viability. With that said there’s an argument that it’s already too late, since Boebert has been all over local media in the district, gladly answering every kind of immoderate question with potentially disqualifying answers waiting to be resurfaced. Boebert’s failed attempt to prematurely reopen her restaurant as the COVID-19 pandemic rages looks worse by the day.

All of that before we even talk about “QAnon.”

Make no mistake, this is a district with a built-in Republican advantage. Tipton ousted the last Democrat to win the seat a decade ago. This will not be a race won easily by Democratic nominee Diane Mitsch Bush, but the unexpected opportunity to expand the map in November against a fringe opponent means CD-3 will merit a hard fight–a fight that simply wouldn’t have been as intense against Scott Tipton.

For both sides, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.

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23 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    Speaking of “not ready” . . .

    C’mon Alva, can’t you find a single scowly-faced photo of her???? . . .

  2. CrazyOkie says:

    Where did she go to college?  She grew up in Florida, right?

  3. vertigo700 says:

    Mitsch-Bush is a much better fit for CO-3. One of Tipton's horrible sins according to Boebert was voting for the "Farm Workers Modernization Act," which gave some legal protections to immigrant farm workers. Boebert called this amnesty. This is not a tenable position for Western Slope and San Luis Valley farmers who need these workers to remain profitable. Mitsch-Bush has a great agricultural record and that combined with her outdoors-oriented environmentalism is really a pretty natural fit for quite a lot of the district. Pueblo will be the key swing area, which had much higher Democrat turnout in the primary than Republican despite voting for Trump in 2016. I think Mitsch-Bush emphasizing her renewable energy support in a city where Comanche Solar Project and Vestas are big area employers could help. With the collapse of oil and gas from the recession, renewable energy is where it's at anyway. And CO-3 is poised to take advantage of that if they vote for a leader who can support that industry in the district. That's Mitsch-Bush, not Boebert. I expect it to be an ugly race though. 

  4. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    I can hear Ttump now: "Tipton? Who?  Never met him"

  5. Genghis says:

    Doesn't really matter whether "America" is ready. If Yosemite Samantha gets the largest plurality in CD-3, she's in, ready or not.

    On one hand, there's cause for concern since she'll get the votes of not only those who reflexively vote for the candidate with the R after her name but also the True Believer RWNJs. The crazies will not be blasé, as they may have been with Captain Milquetoast.

    On the other hand, CD-3 isn't monothically insane, so there's a real opportunity. Since Joe Neguse has nothing to worry about here in CD-2, we'll be sending $ to Diane Mitsch Bush's campaign.

  6. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    If Coloradopols is so sure Yosemite Samantha is unelectable, why does the Big Line have her the 52 percent favorite?

    • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

      I'm a bit confused by the 52/48 stance, too.  However, the rationale of "the fact that CO-3 has been a reliable Republican seat for many years" (10-ish) may provide some sense of advantage.

      Here's hoping the existing four Democratic Representatives will take advantage of their likely dominance and push into CO-03 to help out.  That Hickenlooper will take time and effort to go after votes in CO-03.  That those living in all the towns recognize Boebert is enough of an ideologue that she wanted to criticize Tipton for voting so smaller locales could get money directly from the Federal Government. And the ski towns and farmers realize how Boebert would vote on allowing people from other countries to come and work. 

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        It certainly does lean Republican but every district or state has its limits.

        Remember, even the extremely-gerrymandered CD 4 eventually found Marilyn Musgrave to be a bit too much and send her packing in 2008.

        • VoyageurVoyageur says:

          True but the 4th in 08 wasn't as badly drawn as it is today.  I hope a Democratic lege and gov can draw 7 competitive districts next year and put Douglas County and El Paso together as a whack job sacrificenarea.  Then Boebert can take on Lambert.

          We'll elect Bowman in the new Fourth!

          • Genghis says:

            We'll elect Bowman in the new Fourth!

            Agreed! And with the formal concurrence of at least two people, the Committee to Elect Michael Bowman is officially formed.

            • kwtreekwtree says:

              I'm all for it…one tiny problem: you may have to get Michael Bowman's concurrence, as well.

              He's pretty effective doing what he's doing now in the hemp/ag/soils sphere.

              • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                Plan B, if we could get a decent lineup, would be our 2018 candidate, veterinarian Karen McCormick.  A very smart lady.

                Free the Fourth!

                • kwtreekwtree says:

                  I liked Dr. McCormick very much. She's not running again…so far.

                  Ike McCorkle is an impressive guy, though, who is definitely running for the CD4 seat. Decorated combat veteran, tough, progressive, has already raised $68,000.

                  He's a little hard to listen to as part of his combat injury harmed his larynx, but a very decent guy.

                  • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                    Actually, McCormick is running for the state House in district 11, where she just won the primary (unopposed.) We wish her the best.

                    Ike sounds fine but my discretionary cash goes to Diane Mitsch Bush this year.

                • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

                  Thanks for the shout-out folks.  Let's get the OD dislodged and the Senate back in the hands of adults – then turn CD4 #BlueIn22 (and I think Karen is great!) 

          • RepealAndReplace says:

            You forget, V., that the guv and legislature have no say anymore. It's done by the independent commission.

            They need to pull Douglas out and put Larimer County back in CD 4. Didn't Fort Collins coupled with Obama at the top of the ticket and universal dislike of Musty combine to get Betsy Markey elected?

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