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August 21, 2023 01:09 PM UTC

Boebert Enters the Stapleton/Gardner Political Death Spiral

  • by: Colorado Pols
Bail out, Boebert!

In recent years, big-name Republican politicians in Colorado have tended to follow a similar pattern in advance of their electoral demise — a political death spiral that ends with a thud in November.

In 2018, it was Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton who couldn’t get out of his own way en route to an 11-point drubbing at the hands of Democrat Jared Polis.

In 2020, Republican Sen. Cory Gardner endured so many self-inflicted wounds that Democrat John Hickenlooper just needed a finger to push him over the edge and into a 9-point loss.

In 2022, Republicans Heidi Ganahl (Governor) and Joe O’Dea (Senate) never really got off the ground in the first place. But now, in the midst of the 2024 election cycle, it is Republican Congressperson Lauren Boebert who appears to be in full “political death spiral” mode.

The guidelines are relatively simple: The incumbent Republican (or in Stapleton’s case, a candidate with a different elected position at the time) starts to feel as though their rhetoric has become so impossible to defend that they just stop showing up in front of Colorado voters altogether.

Cory Gardner (top) and Walker Stapleton fleeing the “political death spiral.”

Gardner infamously refused to conduct in-person town hall meetings during the final three years of his one and only six-year term in the Senate. Gardner went to absurd lengths to avoid his constituents, a decision that led to the creation of the “Cardboard Cory” phenomenon that rammed home the idea of a U.S. Senator who refused to be bothered by the people who elected him in 2014.

But at least Gardner still went to work from time to time. Stapleton was in his second term as Colorado State Treasurer when he ran for Governor, at which point he just stopped showing up at the office entirely (seriously — keycard data showed that Stapleton hadn’t actually entered his office since being re-elected in 2014). Stapleton’s absenteeism became a running joke, to the point where the Colorado Democratic Party regularly sent out images of his empty parking space at the State Capitol.

Boebert now appears to be following the same script — even though she only won re-election by 546 votes in 2022 and even though public polling and anecdotal evidence demonstrate that voters in CO-03 would like their elected Member of Congress to do some actual work.

Not only is Boebert NOT doing what her constituents want — she’s tripping over her own stilettos by drawing more attention to her absenteeism. Take a look at this Tweet (or ‘X,’ or whatever) that Boebert mashed out last week:

This is pretty standard nonsense from Boebert on a topic that is completely irrelevant to the good people of congressional district three. More important is the response Boebert received, pointing out that people can’t even get in the door at Boebert’s in-district offices:

Responses to Boebert message about Nancy Pelosi’s staff.



Boebert does make photo-ready appearances in her district, but they are always only revealed after the event has taken place; constituents only get to see where Boebert was, and never where she will be next. This is exactly what Gardner did in 2020, when his strategic gambit was that it was better to take the hit for being inaccessible than to be forced to answer difficult questions from voters. As we know, that bet did not pan out.

Colorado voters will put up with a certain level of political showmanship, but only if the politician in question is still doing the actual job required of them. Playing hide-and-seek with your constituents is a proven recipe for failure.


7 thoughts on “Boebert Enters the Stapleton/Gardner Political Death Spiral

  1. NEW POLL: Frisch Leads Boebert 50%-48% in Race For CO-3

    Frisch Continues to Surge Ahead of Boebert as Congresswoman Continues Extremist Antics

    WOODY CREEK, CO – A new poll of likely voters in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District shows Western Slope businessman Adam Frisch ahead of incumbent Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO). Frisch came just 546 votes shy of defeating Boebert in 2022, making the race the nation’s closest congressional contest of the election cycle.

    The new poll from Keating Research shows a 2 point lead for Frisch in his 2024 rematch against Boebert. Keating Research was the only pollster to accurately predict a close race in the 2022 election between Boebert and Frisch when it released a poll in October 2022 showing Frisch down by 2 points. You are invited to a poll briefing with Keating Research today at 11 a.m. Mountain Time to review these results (more details below).

    In this poll, 50% of likely voters said they would vote for Frisch and 48% said they’d vote for Boebert. Frisch secures majority support in this poll despite an 8-point Republican registration advantage.

    Unaffiliated voters, the largest voting block in the district, are flocking to Frisch and away from Boebert, who has continued with her extremist antics despite nearly losing her seat in 2022. Frisch has a 17-point advantage with Unaffiliated voters (57% Frisch to 40% Boebert).

    “With this new poll showing us ahead of Lauren Boebert, I am more confident than ever that we are on track to win in 2024,” Frisch said. “The results of this poll reflect exactly what we are hearing after driving over 32,000 miles across CO-3 – voters in this district are tired of Boebert’s extremism and want a representative who delivers common sense solutions for their families, their businesses, and their communities.”

    Today at 11 a.m. Mountain Time, Chris Keating and Jake Martin from Keating Research will give a press briefing on the poll results and provide an opportunity for the press to ask questions.

    WHAT: Briefing on poll of likely voters in CO-3
    WHO: Keating Research
    WHEN: Today, August 22, 2023 at 11 a.m. Mountain Time
    WHERE: Click here to join Zoom call

    The memo linked here goes into more detail on Frisch’s support in CO-3.

    1. That is both good news and disturbing news ….

      I realize that CD 3 is pretty heavily Republican but for Bimbobert to be within two points of Frisch means that she retains a lot of support despite her best efforts to come across as a moron and lunatic.

        1. Absolutely, why when Frisch gets elected it will be a major move to the center instead of off the proverbial cliff ( pun intended)  out here…..

      1. re: "CD 3 is pretty heavily Republican "

        The independent redistricting commission looked at 8 statewide races in the 2016, 2018, and 2020 cycles and found a 9% margin for the Republican candidates. More recent voter registration doesn't show such a large gap, with Republicans losing slightly more than Democrats.

        • November 1, 2022 active voter registrations were Democrats at 23.56%, Republicans at 30.65% (7.09% different) and Unaffiliated at 43.95%..
        • August 1, 2023 active voter registrations show Democrats at 22.93%, Republicans at 29.90% (6.97^ different) and the Unaffiliated at 45.32%.
        • The difference in 9 months: Democrats down .63%, Republicans down .75% (0.12% narrower), and Unaffiliated up 1.73%

        The combination of a likely larger voter participation rate, a narrower partisan margin, and a more even recognition of the two candidates, and I'd much rather be Frisch than Boebert.

        Polling within the margin of error, 15 months before the election, with an uncertain definition of "likely" voters doesn't create a great deal of confidence … but again, I'd rather Frisch be on top than lagging.



  2. Will the QAnon Party ever nominate a CD-3 candidate less extreme and lazy than Boebert? If not, then the Dems just need to run a sane, approachable candidate of their own to sew up the district. They may not ever win by a big margin, but when your opponent is drowning in their own stupidity, just let them be and snag that 50% + 1 win in a R+9 district.

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