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August 22, 2023 04:19 AM MDT

Ruh Roh! Frisch Leads Boebert in New CO-03 Poll

  • by: Colorado Pols
I know, right?

It was just yesterday that we wrote in this space about the idea that Congressperson Lauren Boebert (R-ifle) was caught in the same political death spiral that ended the public lives of previous Republicans such as Cory Gardner and Walker Stapleton.

Welp, you can add another log to that fire.

According to a new poll released today from Keating Research — the same outfit that accurately predicted a close race in CO-03 in 2022 — Boebert is now TRAILING Democratic challenger Adam Frisch in a head-to-head matchup by a 50-48 margin. Moreover, Frisch appears to have a massive advantage among “Unaffiliated” voters, leading Boebert by 17 points among this critical group.

Boebert lags behind Frisch despite the fact that Republicans hold an 8-point voter registration advantage in the third congressional district, and despite the fact that the same poll shows President Biden trailing Republican Donald Trump by 5 points in a hypothetical head-to-head rematch in CO-03. This is also not an outlier result given that the last public poll of this district (via “The Rocky Mountaineer” in April) showed Boebert and Frisch in a statistical tie.

You might hear a voice in your head grumbling about “margin of error” or couching your interest with the “it’s still too early” argument, yada, yada. To that we say this: The last time a Democrat was shown to be leading a Republican in the third congressional district would have been sometime during then-Rep. Democrat John Salazar’s final term in office…in 2008. An incumbent Republican politician with strong name ID should absolutely, positively, NOT be trailing a Democrat in CO-03, but that’s what happens when you hide from constituents and focus on appealing to the MAGA base instead of working for your district.

While the two-point lead for Frisch will dominate the headlines, the more important numbers might be found in a different question:

Via Keating Research


If you add up the favorable/unfavorable ratings, you see that 95% of likely voters are familiar enough with Boebert to have an opinion; conversely, only 60% of the same group are familiar enough with Frisch to rate him one way or the other. In short, likely voters in the third congressional district know plenty about Lauren Boebert…and they don’t like herAs any seasoned politico will tell you, it is incredibly difficult to change a voter’s mind once they have already formed an opinion about a politician.

Lauren Boebert seems to be caught in a “political death spiral.”

Boebert’s situation is remarkably similar to where Gardner found himself in May 2020 when he was seeking re-election to the U.S. Senate. At that time, two consecutive polls showed that most likely voters were familiar with Gardner and had already decided that they didn’t like him. Gardner would go on to lose to Democrat John Hickenlooper by 9 points in November.

Here’s more bad news for Boebert: Even Gardner wasn’t as unpopular statewide as Boebert is in the third congressional district.

Boebert is now a top target for Democrats in 2024, where CO-03 has been downgraded (from her perspective) to a “toss up” race by national pundits. She has a legitimate Republican Primary opponent in Jeffery Hurd and a Libertarian Party challenger on top of the fact that Frisch is raising massive amounts of money for a potential General Election rematch after losing to Boebert in 2022 by just 546 votes.

But wait, there’s more (bad news)! The top of the GOP ticket will probably feature Trump, again, which will force Boebert to talk about the 2020 elections despite the fact that most voters don’t want to hear about any of this anymore. And the Colorado Republican Party has handed over the keys to its policy decisions to the Libertarian Party while GOP Chair Dave Williams spends most of the Party’s time and money on a lawsuit that is almost certainly going to fail.

The good news for Boebert is that…um…well, there’s probably something that we’re not thinking about at the moment.

There is plenty of time for Boebert to turn things around and put herself in a position to win re-election in November 2024, but let’s be serious: She’s not going to change. The bigger question now might be in the hands of national Republicans, who may well decide that Boebert’s “political death spiral” is not worth the time and money required to make a correction.


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