Mike Coffman, Republicans Reach New Level of Absurdity

Republican Congressman Mike Coffman has been in elected office for 30 years, but it’s looking more and more like his political career has reached the end of the line in 2018. Multiple public polls have shown Coffman trailing Democrat Jason Crow by significant margins (Coffman has even released internal polls that show him losing), and national Republican backers are pulling out of CO-6 — a clear sign that Coffman is considered to be a lost cause as the GOP scrambles to find some way to hold on to their House majority.

Coffman’s own desperation is palpable. Long known as a politician who will take every position on every issue, Coffman hammered the panic button recently when said that he would even consider supporting impeachment proceedings against President Trump (never mind the fact that Coffman has voted with Trump 96% of the time in Congress).

But Coffman and Colorado Republicans aren’t done yet. They managed to raise the ridiculous bar another few feet with this new mailer:

In case you can’t see the embedded image, we’re talking about a mail piece paid for by the Colorado Republican Party that talks about how Coffman stands up to the Republican Party. Of course, Coffman doesn’t actually “stand up” to the Republican Party, but the very idea that the State GOP is pushing this message is almost too absurd to believe.

Almost too absurd to believe.

Get More Smarter on Friday (October 12)

One week from today, you might have already voted. For now, it’s time to Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.



► According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, most Americans do not think Brett Kavanaugh should have been confirmed to the Supreme Court:

More Americans disapprove of Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court than approve, and a narrow majority says congressional investigation of the new justice should not end with his elevation to the court, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll

…It also suggests the tumultuous battle over his nomination could harm the court’s reputation as the nonpartisan branch of government.

The survey, conducted during Kavanaugh’s first week on the bench, shows that 43 percent of Americans believe the court’s rulings will be more politically motivated with President Trump’s second nominee on the court, compared to 10 percent who said they will be less political. To 39 percent of the public, Kavanaugh’s presence will make no difference in the degree of partisanship.


► The stock market is falling. As the New York Times reports, President Trump is pointing fingers at everybody else.

President Trump responded to falling stock prices on Thursday by continuing to throw rocks at the Federal Reserve, which he has described as “crazy,” “loco,” “going wild” and “out of control” for slowly raising interest rates against the backdrop of a booming economy.

No other modern president has publicly attacked the Fed with such venom or frequency. Indeed, some scholars said the only close historical parallel was with President Andrew Jackson, who campaigned successfully in the 1830s to close the Fed’s predecessor, the Second Bank of the United States.

Mr. Trump’s pointed remarks reflect the high political stakes less than a month before midterm elections that have been cast by his political opponents as a referendum on his presidency. Mr. Trump has been riding the economy hard, bragging about job creation, tax cuts and reduced federal regulation, and claiming credit for the rise of the stock market. Now that the market has lost 5 percent of its value in the last week, Mr. Trump is insisting someone else is to blame.


► The Trump administration claims that changing the next U.S. Census is not a political maneuver designed to help Republicans. As Philip Bump reports for the Washington Post, this argument doesn’t hold much water:

What the Kobach email reveals, though, is that the political effects of asking the question on immigration were part of the calculus on deciding whether to include it — in case there was any question in that regard. There’s an existing problem in counting noncitizen immigrants in the census, and experts argue that including the question will itself drive down response rates to the survey.

Including the question, in other words, will itself help meet Kobach’s goal of getting undocumented immigrants out of population totals (to whatever extent they’re already included) even without anyone actually answering it.

Oh, you mean those conversations about citizenship questions.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Rep. Mike Coffman: The Wrong Side of the Firewall

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora)

New York Times:

As they brace for losses in the House of Representatives, Republican Party leaders are racing to reinforce their candidates in about two-dozen districts, trying to create a barricade around their imperiled majority. They are pouring money and effort mainly into moderate suburban areas, like Mr. Sessions’s seat, that they see as critical to holding the chamber by even a one-seat margin. And they have begun to pull millions of dollars away from Republican candidates who have fallen substantially behind in once-competitive races…

Every election year as October forces national party strategists to make the hard calls about who in Congress can be saved and who must be cut loose–the inverse being who needs help versus who is out of danger–in order to allocate precious resources to the right districts in order to either preserve or win the majority.

In 2018, with majority Republicans looking at an increasingly desperate map and “safe” Republican incumbents in danger all over the country, the goal is to create a firewall of must-hold seats they’ll defend to the last. Because without those seats, the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives is done for.

It’s a firewall that no longer includes Rep. Mike Coffman:

There are between 60 and 70 Republican-held districts that are being seriously contested, and Democrats, boosted by strong fund-raising, have been expanding their television advertising in conservative-leaning districts in an effort to stretch Republicans thin. National polls have shown most voters favor a Democratic-led House over a Republican one, though the Democrats’ lead has varied.

In a tactical retreat, Republican groups have already withdrawn some or all funding from a few embattled incumbents, mainly in suburbs where President Trump is unpopular, including Representatives Kevin Yoder of Kansas, Mike Coffman of Colorado and Mike Bishop of Michigan.

After the 2016 elections, Democratic victory over Coffman was considered out of reach, even a fool’s errand after so many defeats. The double-digit lead in polling for Democratic candidate Jason Crow this year is not an invitation to complacency on the part of Democrats, not after being so bitterly disappointed in this race so many times.

But in previous years, it was Coffman’s Democratic opponents who found themselves cut off from national support as part of the October triage process. This year Coffman is the one being cut off, and every analyst following the CD-6 race has flipped to favoring the Democrat to win. Republican odds of holding the U.S. House have been slim for months based on public polls, but the difference now is the GOP strategy to hold their majority no longer relies on Mike Coffman winning re-election.

For Democrats, it’s truly now or never.

It’s Official: Coffman’s Shots At Crow’s Service Backfired

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora).

Politico’s Rachel Bade reports on a phenomenon being seen around the country with the midterm elections rapidly approaching–endangered Republican incumbents throwing wild haymaker punches at their opponents that are backfiring more than they help.

The local example? Rep. Mike Coffman, naturally:

Democratic House candidate Jason Crow received a Bronze Star for heroism in Iraq and a “lawyer of the year” award for his veterans advocacy. But according to his GOP adversaries, he has “neglected” Colorado veterans…

Democrats say the spots, aired mostly by the outside GOP super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund and the National Republican Congressional Committee, smack of desperation. In some cases, local Republicans, religious leaders and newspaper editorial boards have denounced the attacks.

…Backlash was swift. Local veterans who know Crow showed up at Coffman’s office to protest. Crow’s campaign highlighted the thousands of pro-bono hours he’d dedicated to helping veterans with substance abuse issues, as well as the “lawyer of the year” award he received in 2010 from the Denver Bar Association for his veterans advocacy.

It’s an old adage in politics, especially latter-day conservative politics, that it’s desirable to attack one’s opponent on the issues which they consider themselves strongest. John Kerry’s core asset running for President in 2004 was his decorated service in the Vietnam War, so George W. Bush’s chief political strategist Karl Rove ruthlessly attacked Kerry’s service record to both reduce Kerry’s advantage and shift attention away from Bush’s avoidance of combat service in Vietnam via the National Guard.

Likewise, the principal asset for Jason Crow in this race is his service in the Army Rangers, for which he earned the Bronze Star for his heroism at the Battle of As-Samawah in 2003. Although Mike Coffman is also a combat veteran, his record is not nearly as distinguished as Crow’s–and that’s part of the reason why Coffman’s campaign and backers have tried to “swift boat” Jason Crow by attacking him on his fictional “lack of support for veterans.”

What the polls show is that Coffman has finally met his match in Jason Crow, and the desperate attacks on Crow have only underscored to voters in CD-6 Coffman’s own inadequacies. By neutralizing Coffman’s advantage of military service, and then shrugging off Coffman’s dishonorable attacks on Crow’s own service, Crow has completely turned the tables in a game Coffman has become very comfortable about winning against the tide.

It looks like Coffman’s not the only one going down this way, but his fall will be momentous for Colorado politics.

Two Polls, Same Conclusion: Women Hate Republicans

The Denver Post reports on the first publicly-available poll this fall in the race to become the next Governor of Colorado, which shows Democrat Jared Polis with a seven-point lead over Republican Walker Stapleton. This figure is pretty consistent with what we’ve heard about internal polls from both sides in recent weeks, but the breakdown of the data is where things get particularly interesting:

Polis’ lead was especially strong with Colorado’s unaffiliated voters, women and those who make less than $75,000 a year, found the poll, which was jointly conducted by one Democratic-leaning firm and one Republican-leaning firm. Stapleton beats Polis with male voters and those who make more than $75,000 a year.

The live telephone survey of 600 likely voters was conducted by Keating Research and Magellan Strategies between Sept. 18 and Sept. 20. The results are weighted to reflect historic voter turnout during non-presidential election years. It was commissioned by Healthier Colorado, a nonpartisan health care advocacy organization……One of the most striking data points is Polis’ lead among unaffiliated women: 48 percent said they were likely to vote for Polis, while 22 percent said they were inclined to vote for Stapleton. [Pols emphasis]

It’s important to note that this poll was conducted before last week’s widely-covered Senate Judiciary Committee hearings in which California professor Christine Blasey Ford confirmed her accusation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. This poll was also completed before widespread media coverage of other Kavanaugh accusers, such as Boulder resident Deborah Ramirez. If you conducted this same poll today, chances are pretty good that the numbers would be considerably worse for Stapleton (and every other Republican on the ballot in November).

This Keating/Magellan Colorado survey is also in line with national polling trends, as CNN reports today:

It’s raining men for Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Ford’s detailed allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh could allow Democrats to solidify an unprecedented advantage among those women, who represent one of the few steadily growing components of the white electorate.

Coming even as many professional white women are already recoiling from President Donald Trump’s definition of the Republican Party, and Democrats have nominated an unprecedented number of professional women for Congress, the collision between Kavanaugh and Ford — a professional herself — has the potential to reinforce a lasting shift in loyalties that could tip the partisan balance in white-collar suburbs around America…

…New polling released Monday showed how the confrontation over Ford’s allegations could reinforce these dynamics. A national Quinnipiac University survey found that 61% of college-educated white women said they believed Ford over Kavanaugh; 58% of such well-educated women said the Senate should reject his nomination, according to detailed results provided by Quinnipiac. [Pols emphasis]

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) pleads for support from female voters.

You can count Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) among Republicans who are very concerned about the GOP’s problem with women — particularly college-educated and Independent women. Last month CNN’s Dana Bash asked Coffman about the election drag of Donald Trump in a profile of CO-6 characterized as a barometer of the mid-term elections:

“It’s less about his policies than it is about his tone. College educated independent women, just really are offended by his tone and his mannerisms in the office. [Pols emphasis] So it’s baked in now.” Coffman said, with resignation in his voice.

You don’t talk about “college educated independent women” unless you’re seeing significant problems with this particular voter demographic. This is a big reason why Coffman can’t even produce an internal poll that doesn’t show him losing to Democrat Jason Crow next month.

Of course, it’s easy for Republicans to blame President Trump for their poor image with female voters, but it’s not like GOP elected officials in Colorado and around the country have made much of an effort to do anything differently. Hell, it took Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) FOUR DAYS to publicly respond that he found Ford’s testimony to be credible — an admission he made on the same day that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared that the Senate would vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation this week no matter what happens with an FBI investigation into sexual assault charges.

“Tone deaf” doesn’t do justice to this Republican idiocy. At this rate, we’re going to need come up with a new phrase entirely.

Ways To Know Somebody’s Losing, Rep. Mike Coffman Edition

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora)

We wrote yesterday about a new recent poll in a week showing perennially embattled incumbent GOP Rep. Mike Coffman trailing by double digits to his Democratic opponent Jason Crow. As we’ve noted on a few occasions now, three polls in 2018 showing Coffman losing by a widening margin are in fact the first public polls ever showing Coffman behind in the CD-6 race. After a poll conducted by the New York Times with interesting but by all estimates credibly methodology showed Coffman down by eleven points to Crow, yesterday’s corroboration of that result in a poll funded by Democrats has Crow’s supporters very excited–and Team Coffman deeply worried.

So much so, as the Denver Post’s Anna Staver reports:

One poll, released Monday by End Citizens United, a left-leaning PAC, shows Crow leading 49 to 38 percent — outside the 4.9 percent margin of error. The 11-point spread is the same gap found in an earlier New York Times poll.

But another new poll, released to The Denver Post by the Coffman campaign, puts Crow ahead by just 1 percentage point — 46 percent to 45 percent — making the race essentially a tossup with 9 percent of voters still undecided. That poll, which comes from the right-leaning Tarrance Group, also has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

You read that correctly! In order to combat the growing agreement among observers of this nationally prominent race that Mike Coffman is losing, Coffman’s campaign took the somewhat extraordinary step of releasing an internal campaign poll.

What’s really extraordinary is that Coffman released an internal poll that also shows him losing. We don’t know about the sample or the questions that were asked to produce this result, which reportedly shows a much closer race among independent voters than the two recent public polls showing Coffman losing by double digits. But it’s a safe assumption that both were set up to be as favorable to Coffman as possible.

And the result is still Coffman losing. Not by as much, certainly. But as a response to rapidly ebbing confidence and flagging national support, a poll showing an incumbent who has split tickets and won handily against the tide for years down at all fails the test. For Democrats, on the other hand, this is certainly not a moment to get complacent. These internal poll results should motivate them even more to close the deal this year. For Democrats there has never been a better opportunity to flip a seat that has frustrated them for years, and there may never be again.

By Mike Coffman’s own most generous reckoning, it’s October–and Coffman is losing.

The News Keeps Getting Worse for Coffman

Rep. Mike Coffman (left) and challenger Jason Crow

Last week ended with bad news for Republican Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora), who learned that House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Super PAC (Congressional Leadership Fund) had decided to pull out of CO-6 amid growing concern that the Crowmentum might be too much to overcome by November. In mid-September, we finally moved Democrat Jason Crow ahead of Coffman on The Big Line despite reservations about Coffman’s track record of consistently winning tough races.

New poll numbers released today mark the third public poll of 2018 showing Crow leading Coffman — which also marks the third public poll we’ve ever seen showing Coffman trailing in CO-6. As The Hill reports:

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), who’s in a tough reelection race, is trailing Democratic opponent Jason Crow by 11 points, according to a new poll from a Democratic outside group.

A poll conducted by Normington Petts for the group End Citizens United, which was shared first with The Hill, found Crow leading Coffman 49 to 38 points. Thirteen percent of voters remain undecided.

While there’s been limited polling in Colorado’s 6th District, a recent public poll from The New York Times/Siena College found Crow, a former Army Ranger, similarly up by 11 points, 51 to 40 percent.

You can argue that the poll was paid for by a Democratic-aligned group, but an 11-point lead for Crow is consistent with that New York Times poll mentioned above.

Coffman has been in elected office for 30 consecutive years. That streak looks to be coming to an end in November.

More Trouble for Coffman: Paul Ryan’s PAC Pulling Out of CO-6

The Crowmentum grows.

Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) appears to have reached the end of his political rope:

The Wall Street Journal confirms that House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Super PAC, Congressional Leadership Fund, is pulling out of CO-6 and will redirect resources elsewhere. Needless to say, this isn’t because Ryan is confident that Coffman will win re-election on his own.

Here’s more from Alex Isenstadt at Politico:

Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with House GOP leadership, is cutting off support for two Republican incumbents, Michigan Rep. Mike Bishop and Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman, according to a person familiar with the group’s plans.

The super PAC will cancel its planned TV advertising for both members, a move that comes as the party refocuses its funds on races that leaders feel confident they can win. The organization had $2.8 million in TV advertising reserved for Coffman and $2.1 million for Bishop…

…Democrats appear especially confident in their prospects of defeating Coffman, a fifth-term political survivor who represents a Denver-area swing district. Earlier this week, the Democratic super PAC House Majority PAC canceled nearly $800,000 in planned TV advertising in the district.

We’ve learned over the years that you can never count Coffman out completely…but it’s looking grim for the Aurora Republican.

Giffords PAC Acts Swiftly After Ad Hits Too Close To Home

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Denver7’s Blair Miller reports on a controversy that erupted this week over an ad from Giffords PAC, hitting Rep. Mike Coffman’s opposition to gun safety laws and support from the National Rifle Association with a visual that bore a disturbing similarity to actual events in Colorado over a decade ago:

The parents of Emily Keyes said Wednesday that the super PAC behind an ad that depicted text messages similar to those sent during the final moments of her life had apologized, and said they believe the similarities were unintentional…

John-Michael and Ellen Keyes said in a statement the PAC had spoken with them and that they were satisfied with the committee’s response.

“Our initial response was profound disappointment…. The Giffords organization reached out to us directly to offer both their regret and apologies,” the Keyes said in a statement to Denver7. “They assured us that the similarities were coincidental and they would be altering the advertisement and reposting a new version on social media and other internet sites. We believe that any connection to the tragedy our family experienced was unintentional.” [Pols emphasis]

“We respect the ability to exercise a political voice and we understand that mistakes happen,” they added. “We appreciate the prompt attention paid by the Giffords organization and their commitment to remedy the situation.”

Although the text message dramatization in the ad does not recite the exchange of texts between 2006 school shooting victim Emily Keyes and her family verbatim, the use of the first name “Emily” was considered by many local observers to be close enough–and the fact that Coffman wasn’t elected to Congress until two years after the 2006 Platte Canyon High School shooting gave Coffman an opening to cry foul.

With that said, Coffman’s long record of support for and backing from the NRA is a matter of public record and has been a liability for years–more so since the July 2012 Aurora theater mass shooting in the heart of his district. It’s an issue that Coffman most certainly doesn’t need resurfacing in any capacity in the October before the toughest general election of his lifetime, an election in which Coffman has fled to the center on every available issue in hope not being swept away by an anti-Trump wave. That’s why Coffman seized on the negative initial response from the Keyes family–and howled from behind the family’s justifiable upset about how the ad is “beneath basic human dignity.”

Once the family is satisfied with the explanation from Giffords PAC and the changes to the ad, however, Coffman’s faux outrage lost its cover. Now, the only fact that remains is that Mike Coffman has an A+ rating from the NRA. Which is distantly out of step with a majority of voters in CD-6. And unlike previous elections, the polls say the voters in CD-6 get it now.

So, as they say, protest too much while you can.

Who Will Win in CO-6: Coffman or Crow? (Round 2)

Rep. Mike Coffman (left) and challenger Jason Crow

The Crowmentum in CO-6 looks to be very real indeed, but we need your opinion, wise readers of Colorado Pols.

As always, we want to know who you think will be the winner in November, not who you support or who you would prefer to see emerge victorious. The point of this exercise is to track how perceptions of various races are changing (or not) as Election Day nears. (Click for Round 1 results)

Who will win the U.S. House race in CO-6? Will Republican Rep. Mike Coffman hold off another challenger, or will Democrat Jason Crow emerge victorious?

Who Will Win the Race in CO-6?
Mike Coffman
Jason Crow
View Result


Gazette is latest to try–and fail–to explain away Coffman’s pro-Trump voting record

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The conservative Colorado Springs Gazette tried today to argue that U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) isn’t as pro-Trump as his 96 percent pro-Trump voting record would have you believe.

The Gazette argues that the 96-percent score includes “bills most rational members of Congress support, from both parties.”

The newspaper lists 15 examples, including bipartisan measures to provide hurricane relief and reduce opioid addiction.

Trouble is, if you throw out these 15 bipartisan votes from Coffman’s list of pro-Trump votes, the Aurora Congressman still has a 95 percent pro-Trump voting score.

And if you subtract 15 more votes, among the 90 House votes on which Trump had a publicly known stance, Coffman’s pro-Trump score is 93 percent.

Coffman’s core problem is that he voted just four times against Trump.

One of those four votes was on an important healthcare bill, as the Gazette points out, but Coffman later expressed support for another Trump-backed bill to kill Obamacare. It was defeated in the U.S. Senate, due to the downward thumb of former Arizona Sen. John McCain.

With Coffman in danger of being washed out of office by the blue wave, the conservative Gazette will try to argue that Coffman isn’t as Trump-loving as he appears, but his pro-Trump voting record won’t prove the point.

FACT CHECK: Coffman Backed The Anti-Obamacare Bill, Supported by Trump, That Inspired A Thumbs Down From McCain

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In a “Truth Check” aired yesterday, Fox 31 Denver’s Joe St. George reviews an ad released this week by congressional Democrats and concludes that it’s “true Congressman Coffman has sided with the President on issues like taxes. It is true he more often than not sides with the White House on votes in the House.”

St. George says correctly that Coffman challenged Trump sometimes, but he goes too far in concluding Coffman “opposed” Trump on the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

St. George correctly reports that U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman voted against a House bill, backed by Trump, that would have repealed and replaced the ACA, also called Obamacare.

But it’s misleading of St. George to conclude that Coffman straight-up opposed Trump on Obamacare, based on Coffman’s single congressional vote.

In fact, Coffman actually supported the U.S. Senate’s final anti-Obamacare measure, called the “Skinny Repeal,” which failed with U.S. Sen. John McCain’s thumb pointing to the floor.

Trump lobbied heavily for the “Skinny” repeal.

After McCain’s famous thumbs down, Coffman told Channel 9 political reporter Marshall Zelinger that, unlike McCain, he would have backed the “Skinny” Obamacare repeal, calling it “viable” to him as a “negotiating tool” to get it to a conference committee. That’s what numerous Republicans were saying at the time.

But had the skinny repeal passed the U.S. Senate, it could have become law without further negotiations or a conference committee. That’s one reason McCain opposed it.

In any case, here’s Coffman telling Zellinger he’d support the “Skinny Repeal.”


Top Colorado Races Get Ratings Changes

We wrote yesterday about our decision to move Democrat Jason Crow ahead of Republican Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) in our CO-6 listing on “The Big Line.”

The “Crowmentum” appears to be spreading. Check out today’s updated rankings from the prognosticators at Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball:

Via University of Virginia Center for Politics

The folks over at the University of Virginia Center for Politics have moved the race in CO-6 from “Toss-up” to “Leans Democratic.” We can’t say that we have ever seen CO-6 listed as better than a “Toss-up” in any national ranking.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball also has a new listing for Colorado’s race for Governor that is much less surprising:

Via University of Virginia Center for Politics

Thanks in part to the stunning incompetency of Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton, the race for Governor in Colorado “Leans Democratic” in the same way that President Trump “Leans Crazy.”

The Crowmentum is Real in CO-6

Rep. Mike Coffman (left) and challenger Jason Crow

Okay, we did it.

We adjusted “The Big Line” to move Democrat Jason Crow ahead of Republican Rep. Mike Coffman in CO-6.

We’ve resisted making this move for a long time because we’ve been burned before by Coffman. At various points over the last decade we’ve thought that Coffman was in real trouble of losing re-election, only to see him miraculously emerge victorious in November. We weren’t looking to make that mistake again, and we’ve said as much in this space on multiple occasions since the 2016 election.

So what changed? Quite simply, it is impossible to ignore the many signs that Crow has gained the upper hand in this race. Crow isn’t just inching ahead of Coffman — he’s blasting forward in a district that Hillary Clinton carried by 9 points in 2016. Crow is the Road Runner to Coffman’s Wile E. Coyote, and the finish line is in sight.

We noted earlier this week that Crow was polling with an 11-point lead over Coffman in a survey conducted for the New York Times, the second public poll of 2018 to show Crow with a significant lead. Coffman has never trailed his Democratic opponent in any public poll since first winning election in CO-6 in 2008, and now it’s happened twice in the last six months. The prognosticators at 538.com now consider CO-6 to be a “Likely Dem” seat. Not just “Leaning Democrat,” but “Likely Dem!” To anyone who has paid any attention to Colorado politics in the last decade, this prediction is astounding.

From 538.com


Crow isn’t just winning in public polling (and in completely unscientific Colorado Pols surveys) — he’s been beating Coffman in fundraising, too. Things look so good for Crow, in fact, that Republican leaders are reportedly looking at CO-6 as a lost cause. From Talking Points Memo:

There are almost a dozen open GOP-held House seats that Republicans are essentially admitting with their spending decisions they can’t win, getting Democrats roughly half way to the 23 seats they need to retake House control.

And some recent House polling backs up the theory that suburban Republicans are in for an absolute bloodbath on election day.

Reps. Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Erik Paulsen (R-MN) have trailed badly in recent public polls, numbers that track internal surveys. GOP strategists privately concede that they’re unlikely to be able to bounce back in their Democratic-leaning districts, [Pls emphasis] joining Reps. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) and Rod Blum (R-IA) as incumbent Republicans that face daunting odds at returning to Congress. And they say the fact that the two battle-tested veterans appear cooked is a very bad sign for the map as a whole.

“When you have the guys who are doing everything right in trouble, that’s a really bad sign,” said one House Republican strategist.

We wouldn’t say that Coffman is “doing everything right,” but it’s true that the incumbent Republican hasn’t made many high-profile mistakes. The difference in 2018 is twofold:

  1. Voters are really unhappy with President Trump and aren’t looking favorably on Republicans like Coffman who have supported the Big Orange Guy;
  2. Crow’s background is different than other candidates that have challenged Coffman in the past.

Democrat Jason Crow and family

Coffman supporters don’t know how to respond to this changing political landscape and have struggled to inflict damage on Crow. It’s easy to point to Crow’s military background as being the key counterbalance to Coffman’s “I’m a Marine!” persona, but there’s a more important image at play here: Crow’s family. The newly-divorced Coffman has never run against a Democrat with a young, photogenic family; this unspoken distinction is an advantage that Coffman simply cannot match.

The fight for CO-6 has been one of the top Congressional battles in the country for several election cycles; this year more than $1 million is being spent on television ads every week. There is still time for Coffman to catch up to Crow before mail ballots start to arrive in a few weeks, but the clock is ticking ever louder.

The Crowmentum is growing.

Coffman’s Objections To His 96% Pro-Trump Voting Score Don’t Add Up

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) is hopping mad about a political advertisement, produced by House Democrats, claiming that Coffman has voted with Trump 96 percent of the time.

The 96-percent figure was calculated by nonpartisan statistician and journalist Nate Silver, on his FiveThirtyEight website. Silver tallied congressional votes on all legislation on which the “Trump Administration has taken a public position.”

The 96-percent-pro-Trump score is the “bogus” work of an “East Coast blogger,” said Coffman in a news release, citing 15 votes that shouldn’t be counted as pro-Trump votes because they were passed with bipartisan support, even though Coffman voted as Trump wanted him to.

But even if you toss out all 15 votes, which indeed had the support of anti-Trump Democrats, you still find that Coffman voted with Trump 95 percent of the time.

Here’s the math.

Silver identified a total of 90 votes that Trump either supported or opposed. That’s all the votes Trump took a stance on. Coffman went against Trump’s wishes on only four votes of the 90 taken.

In his news release, Coffman lists 15 of his 90 votes that shouldn’t be counted as pro-Trump votes, because they were heavily bipartisan. (See the list of these votes cited by Coffman below.)

If you throw those 15 votes out, Coffman would have voted against trump on only four of 75 votes.

That’s 95 percent of the time.

The Democrats’ advertisement quotes Coffman as saying:

“If Donald Trump is the president, I’ll stand up to him, plain and simple. Instead, Coffman voted with Trrump, more than any other Colorado member of Congress, 96 percent…Mike Coffman didn’t stand up to Trump, plain and simple.”

If Coffman wants to show that he stood up to Trump more often, he needs to find more instances when he voted against the president. Anti-Trump members of Congress, who voted with Trump on bipartisan measures, had low pro-Trump voting scores, because they voted against Trump so often.

Via email, I asked Coffman’s spokesperson, Tyler Sandberg, if he could cite more than four anti-Trump votes by Coffman, and he didn’t respond or offer any comment, as requested.