Will Lauren Boebert “Pull a Trump” If She Loses?

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

Democratic CD-3 candidate Adam Frisch, battling to restore the honor of the Third Congressional District after two years of freshman GOP doe in a China shop (would still break lots of stuff) Rep. Lauren Boebert, is projecting confidence going into the last few days of voting, sending out a release yesterday asking the next logical question in the event Frisch does pull off an underdog victory in this GOP-leaning district–will Lauren Boebert concede?

With Election Day less than a week away, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) has still declined to say she’ll accept the results of the Nov. 8 election even if she loses against challenger Adam Frisch. Frisch has been outpacing Boebert in fundraising and closing in on Boebert in the polls, with a recent Keating Research poll showing Frisch in a statistical tie with Boebert. Frisch has also recently been endorsed by Republican leaders in the district including state Sen. Don Coram of Montrose, who ran against Boebert in the 2022 Republican primary election, and former Republican Colorado House Speaker Russ George.

As Election Day approaches, Frisch is demanding that Boebert commit to accepting the election results regardless of the outcome.

“I call on Boebert to commit to accepting the results of the November election regardless of the outcome,” Frisch said. “I am fully committed to affirming the results of the Nov. 8 election as the will of CO-3 voters. It is essential to our Democracy that candidates on both sides of the political spectrum reaffirm trust in our elections. Our elections are secure and every Coloradan can rest assured that their vote will be counted.”

“It’s highly concerning that Rep. Boebert has refused to say that she would accept the election results if the voters of Colorado’s 3rd congressional district decide to send me to Congress,” Frisch said.

Boebert is far from the only Republican candidate running in 2022 to be cagey about whether she’ll accept the results. The most prominent example of this is Arizona gubernatorial candidate and leading election conspiracy theorist Kari Lake, who has made such a point about not promising to accept the results that it might scare some voters into voting for Lake just to avoid the worst-case scenario. There are plenty of others. After Donald Trump opened the door to violently rejecting election results Republicans don’t like, next Tuesday is a major test of American democracy all over the country.

As for Boebert? We can say with some confidence that she doesn’t expect to lose.

And that could spell trouble if she does. You’d be a fool to discount the possibility completely.

Throwback Thursday: “Bring It, Pelosi!”

As the New York Times reports in the wake of last week’s attempted assassination of Paul Pelosi, husband of Speaker of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi:

The attack on Ms. Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, on Friday, which left him with a fractured skull and appeared to be part of a planned attack on the speaker herself, came after a yearslong campaign by Republicans to demonize and dehumanize Ms. Pelosi in increasingly ugly ways.

For the better part of two decades, Republicans have targeted Ms. Pelosi, the most powerful woman in American politics, as the most sinister Democratic villain of all, making her the evil star of their advertisements and fund-raising appeals in hopes of animating their core supporters. The language and images have helped to fuel the flames of anger at Ms. Pelosi on the right, fanned increasingly in recent years by a toxic stew of conspiracy theories and misinformation that has thrived on the internet and social media, with little pushback from elected Republicans.

Ms. Pelosi is now one of the most threatened members of Congress in the country…

In 2014, then-Rep. Mike Coffman found then-Minority Leader Pelosi a more attractive target for his rhetoric than his opponent Andrew Romanoff. The intense campaign of vilification waged against Speaker Pelosi by Republicans, often as a proxy punching bag for other races, parallels the similar character assassination campaign conducted for many years against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Without attempting to blame any particular individual for the attempted murder of Pelosi’s husband last week other than the suspect in custody, let us just say that the “politics of personal destruction,” as practiced by conservatives against Democratic women leaders in particular, has effects that are not always immediately apparent.

When they manifest as they did last week in San Francisco, it should give everyone pause.

The Sad Final Days of the Top of the GOP Ticket

Ganahl and O’Dea are less of a “Dream Team” and more of a “Creamed Team”

You can count the number of days until the end of the 2022 election cycle on one hand. As Election Day looms, Republican Senate candidate Joe O’Dea and GOP gubernatorial no-hopeful Hiedi Heidi Ganahl are caught in a weird illogical loop of desperation and internal lies.

Before we update you on the strange last days of each campaign, it’s important to keep this in mind: The last two public polls in each race have shown both O’Dea and Ganahl losing by YUGE margins. On Wednesday, the University of Colorado’s American Politics Research Lab released polling data showing Democrat Michael Bennet leading O’Dea by 12 points and Democrat Jared Polis running ahead of Ganahl by 16. These numbers come on the heels of a poll from Global Strategy Group indicating an 11-point advantage for Bennet and an 18-point lead for Polis.

You could argue about methodologies and polling mechanics until you are purple in the face — and it’s more likely than not that both of these races end up being somewhat tighter after the actual votes are counted — but it’s pretty unlikely that these two recent polls are completely wrong. The question for O’Dea and Ganahl, then, is not if they can win on Tuesday, but if they can avoid being completely annihilated.

With that in mind, here’s what O’Dea and Ganahl have been doing in the last few days aside from avoiding populated areas of Colorado

 

Lighting Money on Fire

O’Dea put another $1 million of his own money into his campaign on Monday, upping his total personal commitment to more than $4.2 million. Ganahl wrote her campaign another big check last month and has now committed about $2 million of her own money ($1.4 million in loans and $600,000 in contributions).

O’Dea’s $1 million contribution on Monday is an egregious example of a candidate getting positively robbed by his own consultants. By every public metric, the Colorado Senate race is not close enough that a $1 million contribution in the last week will make much of a difference. O’Dea’s previous personal contributions are certainly excusable but are a sunk cost at this point; writing your campaign another $1 million check in the final week is the very definition of good money chasing bad. Any respectable campaign consultant should have told O’Dea that this late contribution was too little, too late.

 

Running to the Right

Ganahl didn’t really try to moderate her positions after the Primary Election. O’Dea did make that attempt — poorly — but in recent weeks he’s become much more of a right-wing nutter. For example, O’Dea followed up his nightmare interview with Jake Tapper of CNN on Tuesday by talking gibberish on MSNBC, calling Democrat Hillary Clinton the original “election denier.”

 

There are a lot of Colorado Republicans who wouldn’t blink at making this claim, but O’Dea was supposedly different. O’Dea claimed to be a less-insane Republican who was “not a politician,” but you know who else says insane shit like this? Right-wing Republican politicians.

Ganahl, meanwhile, sent out this message in an email late Wednesday:

 

 

NewsMax?

Really?

We feel more than comfortable saying that the ONLY people who would be excited to know that Ganahl was talking to freaking NewsMax are right-wing Republicans who were already committed to supporting her campaign. There’s a better than even chance that Ganahl is interviewed by Alex Jones before Tuesday.

It’s bad enough that Ganahl took the time to talk to NewsMax, but it’s insane that she sent out an email crowing about her appearance. Is it possible that Ganahl thinks she is running to be Governor of Alabama?

Whoever thought this was a good idea apparently also convinced O’Dea. The Republican Senate candidate made his own inexplicable appearance on NewsMax today. Again, if these candidates are worried about their base heading into the final days of the election, then they’re royally screwed.

 

Time Travel

Supporters of both Ganahl and O’Dea have been spending a lot of time this week trying really hard to downplay the anti-choice positions of their candidates…and then getting punched in the teeth immediately afterward:

 

 

O’Dea supporters have been attempting the same switcheroo, with the same basic results.

 

 

If you’re wondering why Ganahl and O’Dea are trying to reassure their base at the same time that supporters are working to make them look less-extreme…well, so are we.

 

 

Facing Reality

They’re not laughing WITH you.

 

 

National media outlets are also finally starting to realize that the “O’Dea Surprise” is more like a weird casserole than a tasty treat. As Jim Newell reports for Slate:

“So are you doing the ‘this race is going to be closer than you think’ story too?” A Colorado politics reporter asked me my first night in Denver.

I was not the first national reporter to do a “fly-in” from D.C. to see Mitch McConnell’s “perfect candidate.” We were becoming tiresome. Perhaps all the more so because Bennet had been maintaining a roughly 10-point advantage on O’Dea in polling averages. Sometimes they’re “sleeper races” for a reason. (“I’m doing something post-that,” I said, stupidly.).

As we’ve written before in this space, all of the other national stories about Colorado’s Senate race had followed the same pattern of asking if Bennet could be in trouble and then coming to the conclusion that Bennet is not in trouble. Newell, at least, skips to the end:

Being the “perfect candidate” in a long-shot state sounds exhausting. Had Colorado Republicans nominated the nearest available warm body, they would not have had any expectations of possibly winning, and the warm body would have coasted freely to an unremarked-upon 15-point loss. O’Dea, though, built up hopes among Republicans and fears among Democrats. Barring some wild change in polling, he could be walking on eggshells to a much remarked-upon 5- to 10-point loss. (For all of McConnell’s talk about how he would be “all-in” on the state, his aligned super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, only kicked in a perfunctory $1.25 million in mid-October.)

As for Ganahl, she’s finding out that her “Mad Mom on a Meme Mission” nonsense is not resonating with, well, actual moms.

 

Via The American Politics Research Lab at the University of Colorado.

 

Oof.

The Ganahl and O’Dea campaigns have been two of the strangest statewide efforts that we have seen in Colorado in a long time. Perhaps we should give them some credit for keeping it weird until the bitter end…

But really, we’re just ready for them both to go away.

O’Dea Continues Another GOP Tradition: Bombing on National TV

We wrote earlier about Republican Senate candidate Joe O’Dea inexplicably spending the last week of the 2022 election cycle touring the Western Slope and Eastern Plains of Colorado. This is a strange tradition for GOP Senate candidates who know they are about to lose, from Bob Schaffer in 2008 to Cory Gardner in 2020.

On the checklist of bad traditions among Republican Senate candidates in Colorado, there is another box that O’Dea apparently decided to mark off: Completely imploding on national television. When Democrat Michael Bennet was running for his first full term in the Senate in 2010, his Republican opponent was then-District Attorney Ken Buck. That race went down the wire, and most observers believe Buck lost the Senate race with a disastrous late-October appearance on “Meet the Press” in which he compared homosexuality to alcoholism and used the term “buyer’s remorse” in discussing the case of an alleged rape in his judicial district four years earlier.

Buck’s “Meet the Press” appearance was so bad it was even lampooned by “Saturday Night Live.” Had Buck not bombed so memorably, he might well have been elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010.

Joe O’Dea makes his “nailed it” face after repeating for the 100th time his joke about how he doesn’t even agree with his wife 98% of the time.

On Tuesday evening, O’Dea sat down for an interview with Jake Tapper of CNN and flopped in a much different manner. You really should watch the entire seven-minute interview to grasp the extent of the problem for O’Dea, but we’ll break it down into a couple of pieces.

But first, it’s important to understand some context here. Candidates don’t just end up talking to Jake Tapper on CNN; this is the sort of interview that campaign staffers (or national GOP helpers) work hard to arrange. A couple of people had to go to a lot of trouble to get this interview to happen in the last few days before an election. Some of those same people apparently didn’t bother to prepare O’Dea for some difficult questions.

This is a masterclass in how to show voters that you have absolutely no business being anywhere near Congress.

Tapper’s first question is about former President Donald Trump’s outspoken opposition to O’Dea after the Colorado businessman said he would campaign against Trump in 2024. O’Dea dodges this question, which leads to Tapper replaying a moment from a Senate debate last week when Bennet talked about O’Dea’s previous support for Trump.

 

Tapper asks O’Dea “did it bother you” when Trump pushed his family separation policy at the border or said that there were fine people on both sides after white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, VA in 2017. Here’s O’Dea’s response:

JOE O’DEA: Well, I believe that [President] Obama started that policy to be quite frank with you.

JAKE TAPPER: Not really.

Gah!

O’Dea goes on to say that the border is “leaking like a sieve” and talks about fentanyl “coming right up I-25.” Tapper notes that former President Trump did not solve the border problem, either, and adds that every time immigration reform has come up in Congress in the last 20 years, it is Republicans in the House of Representatives who have blocked it from becoming law. Tapper asks O’Dea if Republicans share some of the blame for a lack of action on immigration reform. O’Dea calls the border situation “a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions”; he says that he is going to run an immigration reform bill and make sure it passes both the Senate and the House.

This is the point where things really start to go downhill for O’Dea. Tapper asks O’Dea about his appearance on “Meet the Press” last week and a question from Chuck Todd about whether O’Dea is comfortable with the idea of using migrants as a “political tool” (such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard).

TAPPER: Do you think it was right for them to ship off migrants under false pretenses into other parts of the country? That part of it — not just bringing attention to [the issue], but that part of it — was that the right thing to do?

O’DEA: [long pause] Well, I know that President Biden is shipping them all over the country right now in airplanes. Nobody said a word.

What? President Biden is flying migrants all over the country?

It appears at this point that a small part of O’Dea’s brain realized that he is screwing up, so he reverts to repeating his same talking points from before.

O’DEA: Every state is a border state now. We’ve got a humanitarian crisis down there — epic proportions. And I believe that Gov. Abbott and Gov. DeSantis are trying to bring some attention to this because of the failed policies of Joe Biden. And Michael Bennet’s right with him. 98% of the time he has failed because he’s with his President instead of stepping out and getting something done. We need change, and that’s why I got into this race.

Epic proportions!

Tapper then shifts to a question about gun violence that clearly surprises O’Dea (for some reason).

We are all Jake Tapper when listening to Joe O’Dea.

TAPPER: You do not support raising the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic weapon — the kind used in Uvalde [Texas] and other massacres. Why should an 18-year-old be able to purchase a semi-automatic weapon before he’s even mature enough to buy a beer?

O’DEA: [long pause] Look, this is about crime. We don’t need any more gun laws. What we need is more cops. And this is about Michael Bennet and Joe Biden having the wrong priorities. Here they pass this inflation reduction act — 87,000 new bureaucrats for the IRS — instead of focusing that money on getting our border under control, focusing that money on putting more cops on the ground here. Colorado had one heck of a weekend. I gotta tell you that we had 12 shootings this weekend, and we lost some Coloradans. Crime is at an all time high here.

TAPPER: Yeah, but, why should a 19-year-old be able to buy a semi-automatic weapon when he can’t even buy a beer or a handgun? That’s my question.

O’DEA: Well, he can sign up and go into our military. So, I just believe that we don’t need any more gun laws. What we need is more cops…

TAPPER: You’re…I’m…I’m sure you know of all the training that enlistees undergo when it comes to how to use a firearm.

Mercifully for O’Dea, Tapper wraps up the interview at this point. Unfortunately for O’Dea, his inch-deep understanding of a bevy of important issues has already been revealed. When the best thing you can say about O’Dea’s interview was that it wasn’t quite as bad as Ken Buck in 2010, you know things did not go well.

In fact, you might even say this interview was a disaster…of epic proportions.

FACT CHECK: Kirkmeyer Falsely Claims Her Democratic Opponent Voted To Legalize Fentanyl

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: 9NEWS’ Kyle Clark and Marshall Zelinger tore into Barb Kirkmeyer’s false ad with unusual gusto last night, taking a moment to discuss what elevates a merely false statement by a politician into a knowing and deliberate lie–which this ad is:

—–

In a Sept. 27 interview on Colorado Public Radio, congressional candidate Barbara Kirkmeyer explained that a 2019 Colorado law reduced the penalty for possession of up to four grams of Fentanyl.

The state law, which has since been revised, mandated that fentanyl possession was “no longer a felony after four grams, and it became a misdemeanor,” said Kirkmeyer.

That’s, in fact, what happened in 2019. A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Kirkmeyer’s Democratic opponent, Yadira Caraveo, voted to reduce the penalty of up to four grams of fentanyl from a felony to a misdemeanor, in an effort to help lesser offenders be near support systems and facilitate recovery. Felonies remained in place for higher amounts.

Colorado didn’t legalize Fentanyl. Kirkmeyer said so herself — last month.

But as this month’s election edged closer, and polls showed her race tightening, Kirkmeyer amped up her rhetoric and turned to a falsehood, claiming instead that Caraveo voted to legalize the drug — an allegation that’s widely known to be incorrect.

“Yadira Caraveo and liberal Democrats voted to legalize fentanyl possession,” stated Kirkmeyer in a political advertisement that’s currently airing. “You heard me. They legalized fentanyl. It’s time to get tough on criminals and save our kids.”

Last week, Denver Post reporter Seth Klaman flagged the ad as false, tweeting, “This is inaccurate. Kirkmeyer says Dems ‘voted to legalize fentanyl possession.’ In 2019, Dems – with some GOP support – voted to de-felonize possession of fentanyl up to 4g. It was still illegal to possess it in any amount; it was just a misdemeanor for smaller amounts.”

Colorado Politics reporter Ernest Luning came to the same conclusion. As did 9News’ Kyle Clark.

Numerous Republicans also voted for the 2019 bill. This year, Colorado lawmakers increased penalties for fentanyl possession.

Kirkmeyer’s campaign didn’t respond to an email asking why Kirkmeyer believes fentanyl is legal in Colorado.

Wednesday Open Thread

“People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election.”

–Otto von Bismarck

Ganahl Just Makes Stuff Up About Fentanyl On FOX News

We took note late last Friday of a new ad running from Republican CD-8 congresssional candidate Barb Kirkmeyer that falsely and repeatedly claims Colorado Democrats “legalized fentanyl,” a claim that has absolutely no basis in reality after legislation passed this year in Colorado significantly tightening penalties for possession of the drug. Previous to this year, illicit possession of small amounts of fentanyl without intent to distribute was a misdemeanor, but at no point has the drug ever been “legalized.” Despite a call for Kirkmeyer to pull this brazenly false ad down, it reportedly remains in heavy circulation in the district as of today.

Not to be outdone, GOP candidate for governor Hiedi Heidi Ganahl appeared on FOX Business yesterday, proudly showing off her no-longer-offensive “Mad Mom” tagline and telling uncritical host Maria Bartiromo that, as you can see in the headline of the story, Gov. Jared Polis “decriminalized fentanyl.”

Colorado’s laws on the possession of fentanyl dominated a significant portion of this year’s session of the Colorado General Assembly. Sen. Kirkmeyer, who was present for the debate over this year’s bill cracking down on fentanyl possession, is fully aware that Colorado has not at any point “legalized fentanyl.” Although Ganahl wasn’t in the legislature this year, we don’t accept the idea that she simply misspoke on national television when she falsely claimed that Gov. Polis “decriminalized fentanyl.”

In both cases, these candidates must be judged to be willfully lying with full knowledge of the truth. Not all dishonesty is created equal, and politics is full of examples of spinning facts to fit an agenda. In the case of Republicans claiming Democrats “legalized” or “decriminalized” fentanyl in Colorado, if you understand enough about the issue to articulate these claims you cannot be excused by ignorance for lying.

In previous elections here in Colorado, brazenly false claims of this kind were met with a vigorous response from media fact-checkers, outside activist groups, not to mention the aggrieved campaigns all clamoring to ensure that the lie doesn’t take root to become persistent mythology. In 2022, for whatever reason, Republicans are getting a pass to tell indefensible lies about fentanyl policy that would not have been allowed to circulate unchallenged in previous elections.

We hope this lie doesn’t work–because if it does, as Donald Trump has taught us, lying is the new normal.

New Ballot Return Numbers and a Return Reminder

UPDATE: For a little more perspective:

—–

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office released the latest ballot return numbers in Colorado with one week to go into Election Day.

At the end of the day on Monday, 742,935 ballots had been returned in Colorado. Registered Unaffiliated and Democratic voters both continue to outpace registered Republicans in ballot returns.

 

If you have not yet returned your ballot, DO NOT PUT IT IN THE MAIL AFTER TODAY. Remember, ballots must be RECEIVED by your local clerk and recorder by 7:00 pm on Tuesday, November 8 in order to be counted. It does not matter if your ballot was postmarked before Election Day if it does not arrive before 7:00 pm on Tuesday.

Experts recommend taking ballots to a drop box from this point forward just to be safe. For information on where to take your completed ballot, go to GoVoteColorado.gov.

The Invisible Face of the Colorado Republican Party

Rep. Lauren Boebert screaming at President Biden during the 2022 “State of the Union” speech.

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.

Via “The Rocky Mountaineer” (Oct. 2022)

 

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:

Via The Denver Post (Oct. 31, 2022)

“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

Invisible Cory Gardner

Cory Gardner left the Colorado Republican Party without another face.

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.

 

Where’s Boebert?

Rep. Lauren Boebert (second from right) with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago this month.

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.

Lauren Boebert All In For Mentor Sarah Palin

One of the many oddities about freshman Colorado GOP walking talking cautionary tale Rep. Lauren Boebert is that she doesn’t generally endorse candidates in Colorado races–or it could be that Republicans don’t want Boebert’s endorsement. Either way, Boebert’s absence from the local Republican campaign circuit in 2022 has been as notable as her lack of tangible results for her constituents in two years of high-visibility low-productivity service.

But when it comes to Boebert’s arguably closest predecessor in the role of right-wing low-information bombast projector, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, like her congressional bestie Rep. Matt Gaetz, Boebert has nothing but ride-or-die loyalty–even if Palin’s campaign bungled the rollout:

So, there are a few problems with this endorsement message, starting with the painful misspelling of Rep. Boebert’s name. The big one that’s confusing us is, can someone explain why “Mama Grizzly” Sarah Palin and the Rep. Boebert of Silt, Colorado are depicted against the New York City skyline? Does everything in the “Lower 48” look like New York City to Alaskans or something? And isn’t New York City a “no-go zone” overrun with Islamist terrorists and rainbow fentanyl?

Boebert may not be much help to Colorado Republicans, but she knows who her mentors are.

CO Senate Candidate Walsh Praised Trump in Private, Now Tells Voters He’s ‘Not a Fan’

(At least someone has been listening to Joe O’Dea — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A candidate who says one thing to one audience and the opposite to another is the most common political cliche. It’s rarer to catch one doing so in front of a reporter, but that’s what has happened to Tim Walsh, a Republican running for state senate in Jefferson County.

Back in May, Walsh made an appearance at the venerable Jefferson County Republican Men’s Club (JRMC), a local GOP institution. The Colorado Times Recorder previously reported his statements from that speech which cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

Following his biographical stump speech, Walsh spoke in detail about a poll his campaign conducted. He explained that while is he is a Trump supporter “who loves what he did,” he can’t share his love for Trump with voters because of their dislike of the former president.

In an almost apologetic tone, Walsh explains that Trump is hugely unpopular in his district, especially with younger voters. He tells them specifically,

“I am the first to be a Trump supporter. Loved what he did, but I can’t campaign on being a Trump person. And so just letting you know that. When we’re out knocking on doors, we don’t even bring up Trump.” 

If Walsh simply did that — avoided talking about Trump while campaigning, this story would just be about that typical politician cliché — telling folks what they want to hear. He told his far-right base supporters that he loves Trump but won’t reveal his pro-MAGA position when knocking doors of swing voters in his district.

Except we know he isn’t just avoiding the subject on the campaign trail — he’s telling them he doesn’t like Trump.

According to an article published last week by the Colorado Sun’s Elliott Wenzler, who accompanied Walsh on the campaign trail, he is now saying he’s “not a fan” of Trump and “never has been.”

(more…)

“Mad Mom” — From Imaginary Insult To Rallying Cry

It was a Lifetime Movie too.

As some of the more online among our readers may be aware and we’ll forgive them if not, an exchange between Gov. Jared Polis and Republican challenger Hiedi Heidi Ganahl at their debate last week in Grand Junction has enjoyed a curious afterlife, becoming by far the most-discussed moment of the series of debates between Colorado’s gubernatorial candidates. As Colorado Public Radio reported from the scene:

“I am mad,” said Ganahl. “I am a mad mom. We have skyrocketing crime, out of control inflation, a huge fentanyl problem that’s killing our kids, and our kids can’t read, write or do math at grade level. I have a right to be angry and I represent a lot of parents.”

Polis responded, “my opponent identified herself as a mad mom. I identify myself as a happy dad of two great kids, 11 and eight, raising my kids in the best state of all the states, great outdoors. We love our freedom. I will always protect our freedom.”

After some contemplation, Ganahl apparently realized that “mad mom” is not a positive branding experience, at least not to a majority of Colorado voters:

But by this morning’s in-kind contribution guest column at Fox News, Ganahl was over her offense:

Our current governor mocked me in a debate last week for being a “mad mom.” Yes, I am indeed a mad mom. I wear that badge proudly. [Pols emphasis]

No really, she’s over it, to the extent that “Mad Mom” is now the Ganahl campaign’s rallying cry:

And that, gentle readers, marks the most whiplash-inducing turnabout from “how dare you” to “you’re damn right” since Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men! When you’re down by an average of fifteen points in the polls one week from Election Day, you’re obliged to grasp at whatever straws are available. The main problem here is that few voters know anything about the origin story of the “Mad Mom” tagline from last week’s debate, even Ganahl’s embellished version. They’re just going to see the words “Mad Mom,” without the vital context that makes it…

Slightly less offensive to moms everywhere, we guess? It’s too late to poll test.

Joe O’Dea Begins Final Sad Week as Senate Candidate

Republican Joe O’Dea is wrapping up his long, strange trip as a 2022 candidate for U.S. Senate by doubling-down on an obvious lie and hanging out with former Sen. Cory Gardner, whose last election cycle concluded with a nearly 10-point loss to Democrat John Hickenlooper.

Before we get to Gardner, we’ll start with Friday’s final Senate debate between O’Dea and incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet. This video clip from the Colorado Democratic Party is a pretty good summary of O’Dea’s final few weeks as a statewide candidate:

As you can see, O’Dea got a little emotional about being called out for a ridiculous lie that is still being pushed by his campaign despite the fact that it has been widely debunked…including by O’Dea himself. We’ve been covering the O’Dea campaign’s absurd claims that his campaign is being “censored” by Google — something that appears to be a desperate effort to raise a few more dollars before O’Dea turns back into a little-known contractor on November 8th. In fact, just last week O’Dea told Spencer Soicher of KRDO in Colorado Springs that his “crack team” had already “addressed” the fake problem with Google and “cleaned it up.”

That doesn’t mean that O’Dea’s campaign has stopped running its fake conspiracy fundraising ads, however, which is why Kyle Clark of 9News asked him about it during Friday’s debate:

KYLE CLARK: Mr. O’Dea, would you like to provide any evidence [that Google is censoring your campaign]?

JOE O’DEA: I’m not going to do it here tonight, Kyle. I’m not debating you. I’m debating Michael Bennet.

CLARK: Well, I’m asking you if you’re interested in backing up this allegation…

O’DEA: I told you, you can go look it up. It happened. Two weeks, they downed our Google efforts so we couldn’t…search for our stuff. It’s documented.

CLARK: It actually…it is not. Because these things are public. And we looked again this morning. And you have run Google ads without a single day of interruption since April 14th.

O’DEA: That’s not true. That’s just not true.

CLARK: The public can go, and they can go look…

O’DEA: They can go look. That’s just not true.

CLARK: …at the transparency portal, and they can see that you have run ads…

Republican Senate candidate Joe O’Dea tries to wave away the truth.

O’DEA: That’s not true.

CLARK: …every single day, without interruption. There’s a single ad pulled in June for an unspecified violation…

O’DEA: A single ad, they pulled…

CLARK: …which your campaign won’t tell us what that was for, or if you attempted to fix it. So just one last question: Serious allegation, about a behemoth company, that you could regulate as a U.S. Senator, do you have any evidence?

O’DEA: I just told you, they pulled one of our ads for two weeks. That’s the evidence…

CLARK: With respect, your word is not evidence, sir. Any evidence?

O’DEA: It’s there, you can find it.

CLARK: Very good.

This is a very weird hill to die upon. It’s not “furries” weird, but it’s still strange.

O’Dea’s campaign is apparently so desperate to raise money in the last week of the election that O’Dea is willing to keep this ridiculous conspiracy theory alive…AND to call on 2020’s big election loser to help him collect a few thousand more dollars for his doomed Senate bid. Via Punchbowl News, the original orange Republican leader (former House Speaker John Boehner) will join former Sen. Cory Gardner for a last-minute fundraiser in Denver that is probably more about cultivating O’Dea as a future GOP donor:

 

We can’t imagine that Tuesday’s fundraiser is going to make much of a difference for O’Dea’s campaign. Are there a lot of people who have not yet donated to O’Dea who are interested in shelling out $10,000 for a photo with two former elected officials and a guy who is only slightly more likely than you are to be in the U.S. Senate next month? This might have been a decent fundraising event two months ago, but not one week before Election Day.

Anyway, there are just a few more days left Joe, and you’ll have all the time in the world to live your best #HorseSushi life.

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