Colorado Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert will likely be a bit nervous on Election Night as she waits to find out if recent polling numbers showing Democrat Adam Frisch gaining ground in CO-03 prove to be accurate.
As we’ve noted before, Boebert is unquestionably the face of the Colorado Republican Party — and that’s probably the case even if she were to lose re-election. As Kyle Clark of 9News recently told Chuck Todd on “The Chuck ToddCast:”
The Colorado Republican Party is at a low point for statewide power since before World War II. They desperately are looking for a win. Ever since Cory Gardner left the scene, they’ve had NOONE. Lauren Boebert is the face of the party here. [Pols emphasis]
Two years after Boebert was first elected to Congress, it’s worth taking a look at why she is still the face of the Colorado Republican Party. Boebert is incredibly unpopular statewide; the latest polling numbers from “The Rocky Mountaineer” show that her approval ratings in Colorado are 19 points underwater (26% “favorable” vs. 45% “unfavorable”). More Coloradans believe in UFOs than Boebert.
In her home state, Boebert is so toxic that the two main newspapers in her district that are making endorsements — The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and The Durango Herald — are backing her opponent. The Denver Post recently ran this headline along with its endorsement of Frisch in CO-03:
“We beg voters in western and southern Colorado not to give Rep. Lauren Boebert their vote.”
— The Denver Post editorial board (10/31/22)
As The Denver Post editorial board writes:
We beg voters in western and southern Colorado not to give Rep. Lauren Boebert their vote.
Boebert has not represented the 3rd Congressional District well. Almost exclusively, she has spent her time and efforts contributing to the toxic political environment in this nation…
…We grieve that this is who represents our great state in Congress – a state known for our moderate positions and our policy-first approach to politics.
Rejecting all Boebert has come to represent – angry rants without offering real solutions — is important for the 3rd Congressional District, Colorado and this great nation. Frisch is a solid candidate who will stand in for the district in an honorable way.
Go ahead and try to find a more harshly-worded endorsement in Colorado in the last decade. We’ll wait…
Filling a Vacuum with a Vacuum
Of course, much of Boebert’s name ID in Colorado is the result of a complete lack of other options for the GOP. The last remaining statewide elected Republican in Colorado is CU Regent
Hiedi Heidi Ganahl, who is a week away from losing the gubernatorial race to incumbent Democrat Jared Polis by somewhere between 10 and 20 points. Former Senator Cory Gardner is locked away in a wood-paneled bunker in Yuma muttering about crypto currency. After Boebert, the most visible Republican in Colorado could well be Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, but her new office in 2023 is likely to be behind bars.
Boebert’s Republican colleagues in Colorado’s congressional delegation are Doug Lamborn and Ken Buck. When he’s not violating ethics rules, Lamborn spends most of his time looking for silly legislation to co-sponsor. As for Buck, the former State Party Chairman desperately wants to be seen as a MAGA Republican leader, but he can’t figure out anything to do for attention other than to keep talking about investigating longtime Democratic bogeyman George Soros for funding Antifa, or something.
As far as we can tell, Boebert has not endorsed a single Republican in Colorado in 2022 — likely because no GOP candidate wants to be associated with the former Rifle restaurant owner. Boebert does endorse MAGA Republican candidates around the country, even if those candidates don’t bother to spell her name correctly; outside of Colorado, Boebert is more of a curiosity than a political leader.
Boebert shows up at events in Colorado from time to time, often bringing one of her MAGA buddies (such as Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz) along with her. But Boebert’s political base is not in Colorado — it is made up of national MAGA Republicans who donate small sums of money in response to her latest vile social media post. In the last couple of months, you’d have a better chance finding Boebert speaking about her bizarre version of Christianity in another state than running across her somewhere in her own congressional district. It speaks volumes that Boebert is spending as much time at Mar-a-Lago in Florida as she is in Colorado in the final weeks of the 2022 election cycle.
The Face of 2024
Colorado Republicans have a lot of problems that aren’t likely to get much better a week from today. But one of the issues that should be at the top of the GOP’s post-election list should be figuring out a different figurehead before 2024.
Boebert is unquestionably the current face of the Colorado Republican Party at the moment, but there’s no good reason as to why. Boebert is extraordinarily disliked in her home state, which might account for why she is rarely here. Her brand is irrevocably toxic to local media outlets, and while she has shown a talent for raising money, she does virtually nothing to help her fellow Republicans in Colorado.
Boebert’s re-election is a Catch-22 for Republicans; if she does win another term and Republicans control a majority in the House of Representatives, she and her fellow “Freedom Caucus” members will spend more time breaking things than governing. If you thought Boebert was a distraction in her first term, just wait until she gets handed a larger microphone.
The person most associated with the Colorado Republican Party is also one of the people who is the least helpful to the GOP. We’d call this “odd,” but it’s actually a pretty good explanation for how Colorado Republicans ended up where they are today.