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August 13, 2020 09:11 AM UTC

It's Official: CD-3 Is Slipping Away From The GOP

  • by: Colorado Pols
Lauren Boebert (R-ifle).

As the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reports on a new poll that, if accurate, shows Republicans in deep trouble in a congressional district that was held easily by ousted incumbent GOP Rep. Scott Tipton for a decade:

The survey of 400 likely voters in the 3rd Congressional District found Diane Mitsch Bush, a Democrat, with 43% support and Lauren Boebert, a Republican, with 42%. Four percent of voters were undecided and three other candidates split the remaining 11%.

The massive 3rd District, which spans all of the Western Slope, along with southern Colorado and Pueblo, hasn’t elected a Democrat in a dozen years. Mitsch Bush lost by eight points there to Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, in 2018.

But Boebert’s shocking primary win over Tipton on June 30 has placed the race in the crosshairs of national Democratic groups, which see an opportunity to flip the seat, and has Republicans on the defensive. A poll showing a tied race is certain to jolt national onlookers and could lead to an increase in outside spending.

All of the usual early polling caveats apply: it takes two methodologically consistent polls to establish a trend, and GQR Research is considered slightly Democratic leaning by leading aggregator and critic of pollsters FiveThirtyEight. CD-3 in 2017 was rated R+6 on the Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI), but Rep. Tipton consistently defeated his Democratic opponents by wider margins regardless of the national political climate.

If these numbers prove accurate, CD-3 has truly been reshuffled by Lauren Boebert’s surprise GOP primary victory: from the GOP’s congressional firewall in this state after Rep. Mike Coffman was taken out in CD-6 two years ago, into a investment-grade opportunity for Democrats to increase their congressional delegation from Colorado to an historic 5-2 majority. Boebert defeated her complacent incumbent in the GOP primary, but is now failing to succeed Tipton as a viable general election candidate. Boebert’s sophomoric quips that debase her campaign, low-information policy agenda, and at this point indelible branding as a “Q-Anon” curious nutjob have put this seat in play–where Tipton simply, for all his warts, would not have.

For Democrats, the opportunity here is electrifying. But this remains a Republican-leaning district, and even against an unqualified fringe opponent a full-scale effort will be necessary to prevail.

But the game is on. CD-3 is a top 2020 battleground now.


53 thoughts on “It’s Official: CD-3 Is Slipping Away From The GOP

  1. Sorry, dudes. A one point lead is not "slipping away."

    Maybe if Ms. Mitsch-Busch follows advice from others here on Pols and camps out in Pueblo……

    1. Good idea to blanket Pueblo but not enough for the win. Pueblo County supplied 78K votes in 2016 out of 374K district-wide, and the county actually went Tipton by a decent margin. City of Pueblo's fairly "blue" but the county's much more conservative. DMB's going to have to make inroads in tougher parts of the district (though she won't get the deep red parts no matter what) and appeal to independents because Pueblo, Aspen, Steamboat, Vail, and Telluride alone won't cut it.

      1. Just wanted to add, Tipton beat DMB in Pueblo County 2018, 31,787 to 30,511. A Libertarian got 2% and an independent rancher from La Plata County got about 4% – not sure what the independent vote meant but guessing from a quick read that some was dissatisfaction with the 2 major parties. Guessing there's some room for DMB to take maybe a couple thousand votes from what the known commodity Tipton would've taken, but still question how big this opportunity really is.

        1. Bear in mind that Hillary isn’t on the ticket this year. How many of those working class voters in Pueblo County are better off now than they were four years ago? 


        2. Tipton worked his ass off in Pueblo every campaign he ran, except the last. That's when he took Pueblo for granted, as Democrats have since John Salazar. Diane needs to get down there. Durango and Gunnison have turned blue with a goodly number of votes. But without Pueblo to offset blood red Mesa County, she won't make it.


    2. Uh yeah it is.  Context is everything.  Going from beating Dems by a lot to being tied or behind by a little in what is going to be a Tsunami of blue voters IS slipping away particularly when the Trumpers nominate a egotistical nutjob as their standard bearer.  Boebert won't improve her presentation to the general population and being politically uneducated will probably make a string of gaffe's and mistakes.  She could win but she also could lose which would rub salt in Trumper wounds with Cory going down in fiery flames.  Colorado Republicans will have no one to blame except themselves for this one.

      1. The GOP Embraces Its Crazy (from The Bulwark)

        Max Boot writes:

        And why shouldn’t Trump welcome this QAnon wing nut to his party? She fits right in. Media Matters for America found that 53 congressional candidates have promoted QAnon this year. Besides Greene, they include Lauren Boebert, who defeated a Republican incumbent in a congressional primary in Colorado, and Jo Rae Perkins, who won the Republican Senate primary in Oregon. NBC News wasn’t kidding when it suggested Congress could soon have a “QAnon caucus.”

      2. “what is going to be a tsunami of blue voters…….

        Meaning no disrespect, GG, but that sounds some like complacency. Don’t go there. 2020 is going to be a tight election, especially in the battleground states. Trump is doing everything he can think of to steal the election. 

        Never-Trump Republicans can do only so much, despite the high quality of the ads from Lincoln Project and Republican Voters Against Trump. The Dems need a strong ground game that will also bring in independents. 

        1. So noted my fellow big band enthusiast.  I should have said a Tsunami of like minded and outraged voters.

          Isn’t it fitting somehow that Trump can’t even run the Post Office right.  How inept are you when you have to destroy the Postal Service to get re-elected.  Suppressing voters and stealing the election are about the only way they can win now but you know somehow I believe that voters will risk COVID to get rid of this sick asshole.  Track the number of mask replacement filters that get sold in October.  People are going to stand in line masked to take down the clown.

        2. There no doubt is a core of Trump voters who cannot be shaken loose, and if the voter suppression moves could target only "others" and leave Trump's base as enthusiastic, I'd be more concerned.

          But even within that (barely) winning coalition of 2016, there have been defections, and I don't see many areas of addition.

          His strongest support came from White Evangelicals — someplace around 80%.  But proportionately, they are a smaller share of the electorate; some died, some "slid away" from the church, some reacted badly to a few of Trump's moves. 

          Next:  65+ voters (with some overlap).  He won that demographic by 9% — but they are the most likely to die (2% per year), some express anger or concern over some policies, many express concern over how he dealt with COVID-19, some look at the impacts on their children and grandchildren and are less enthusiastic.

          He's lost some of the suburban women.  He has lost some among the urban women/blue & pink collar workers. 

          Pick the slice — and outside the White, male, non-college educated; the Proud Boys; the Bikers for Trump, and passionate fans of the Battle Flag — who is newly coming to his side?

          1. @JiD: my thought is that the entities you list in your last paragraph were all for Trump in 2016. I'm further thinking Trump isn't really drawing anyone new to his side in large enough numbers to be statistically relevant. Trump's only hopes of winning re-election center on voter suppression, or starting some big time incident that allows him to show his "law and order toughness."

  2. It's sad that a district once elected the likes of Ray Kogovsek Mike Strang and John Salazar is now evenly split between a fine Democrat and a gun-waving lunatic.  We just sent Dianne a second "check" (via Act Blue) and will send another next month.  Colorado does not deserve the shame Boebert would bring.

    1. Why spend good money to learn what everybody on pols knows: whack job Lauren turns a GOP sure thing into a tossup.  Open your wallets!

      You too, DCCC.

      1. I once contracted for a company where the manager was this really terrible person who was a bully and Trumpian before Trump.  Her assistant and the staff hated her as only the oppressed can hate.  An industry magazine decided to do an article on this company and asked for photos of the managers for the article.  This crude and crappy boss asked her assistant to pick out a photo of her to send to the magazine.  The assistant picked out the absolutely worst photo that she could find.  Resistance in the small things.

          1. Yep..When you want to send a message that violence is an appropriate method of dispute resolution, it works.

            Do you suppose she has ever been in a situation where she had to point that hogleg at someone who was pointing one at her?


                  1. Thanks, everyone! I’m just getting back to this thread, so missed all of your well-wishes yesterday (two days ago?). Birthdays during a pandemic suck. Karen’s been under the weather for a few days. so tomorrow morning, she’s going to have her brain swabbed just in case it’s not just a harmless bug.


            1. Here’s a thought, Pols. Why not give Diane Mitsch Bush some space on here? Interview her for Get More Smarter. Ask her about her campaign staff, prospects for victory, what she’d focus on in Congress, what she thinks about her opponent, etc.

              Boebert has her own freaking section on here now, but her Democratic opponent gets no love. Show that you value substance over sensationalism. 

              1. Good idea, kw, but Pols would have to get at the end of a long line of people/reporters trying to reach her. It's beyond frustrating, especially for us in the blood red zone of the 3rd.

  3. Has anyone seen ads from Diane Mitch Bush? Are state and national Dems backing her up with meaningful cash? Has she staffed up? Are any debates planned?

    Historically, national Dems have left these red-leaning districts to swing R – more’s the pity. And Diane’s moderate enough that she probably won’t get the volunteers from the Our Revolution Bernie folks. 

    So yeah, camp in Pueblo, but buy ads on Fox . Every fricking bar and restaurant TV in the 3rd ( except maybe the mountain ski towns) plays Fox non stop. 

    1. How good is Diane Mitsch Bush's staff?  Does she have a seasoned campaign manager?  I have volunteered a couple of times, not overly impressed so far.

    2. Radio is the key to winning the 3rd. And it's cheap. I know a political consultant, now retired, who took candidates to victories all over this part of the world. She's so frustrated by what passes for Diane's campaign she's almost screaming.

  4. It would be fun if, at the debates, someone could pin down Trump to confirm or deny the most ridiculous of the Q tropes. "Mr. President, as you know there's a "Q" movement out there that claims that, among other things, certain Democratic politicians eat babies. We have seen people at your rallies, and even sitting behind you, with "Q" shirts and signs. Will you once and for all tell the American people that such claims by the "Q" movement are not only untrue but ridiculous?"

    Of course, Trump will dissemble … and he'll look even more like an idiot.


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