As a Democrat with a little pocket money, choosing which races to fund is fraught with challenges. One of them is media full of unreasonable expectations about beating hateful assholes in uber-safe districts. Another is that beating a hateful asshole in a not-so-safe district is is a multi-year task, yet the primary winner on our side only has a couple of months to campaign after they win the primary. Still, after a little investigation and reading, I’m coming to believe that we could beat Lauren Boebert in 2022.
First, let’s look at the district. Geographically, it’s gigantic. It’s basically the Western Slope of Colorado plus Pueblo.
Now, let’s look at a county-by-county breakdown of the 2020 Presidential vote, which more-or-less tracks the vote in CO-3. Yes, I know that I often rail against the use of cloropleth maps but check out my sophisticated graphical notations.
The district itself has a PVI of R+6. The blue counties in the mountains are generally lightly populated ski towns and hippie enclaves. Besides Pueblo, population 112K, (green circle) the other city in the district is Grand Junction (pop 64K, orange circle) in solidly red Mesa county. Those western red counties go for Trump 60-70/40-30. One exception: Boebert is from Rifle, in far western Garfield County, which flipped red to blue in 2020. Boebert lost her home county, which is noted on the map by the “Ha Ha!”. So, the action that we care about is all in Pueblo.
Politico just published a long story from a Denver journalist who spent some quality time in Pueblo, and it isn’t good for Boebert. Politico has a vested interest in making wide-open races look tight, and true to form, this piece mostly quotes Democrats and Union officials. That said, there are a couple of things that I think are good signs:
- The door to Bobert’s Pueblo office is often locked. (And she doesn’t return the head of the steelworkers union’s call, quelle surprise, but what other calls don’t her staffers return?) One of the best ways to beat someone like her is to convince her district that she’s a lazy glory hound.
- Pueblo is home to one of three steel mills in the nation that make rail. Boebert does not support Biden’s infrastructure plan that would lead to more railroad construction.
- Boebert only has one announced Republican challenger, who’s a political nobody. The worst thing that could happen is that a reasonable Republican beats her in a primary and then takes the district.
- There are a lot of Democrats in the race, and they’re raising decent amounts of cash (collectively, they’ve raised just a little less than $500K, which is about what Boebert has raised.) Like the 2020 Presidential election, CO-3 in 2022 is an audition for who can field the most effective attacks on Boebert, so I’m happy to see a bunch of Democrats vying for that prize.
The final fact about Boebert that makes me think she’s beatable is how terribly she comes off when she isn’t tweeting.
Here she is, sitting in her restaurant questioning an intelligent, calm Biden Administration member (Acting Budget Director Shalanda Young) and her affect and demeanor is that of a dumb teenager trying to get the principal’s goat. For all her guns, she clearly lacks confidence and can’t think on her feet. If the Democratic Party were more like the Republican Party, we’d be up on Facebook and other social media with “Lauren Boebert is a fool who won’t get you any money” ads.
The bottom line here is that beating MTG in her R+28 district is a pipe dream. Hate her all you will, she just has to stay out of jail in order to win in 2022. Boebert is another story entirely. While there’s often talk about “X factors” or “October surprises” that don’t pan out, I think it’s likely that Boebert conspired in some way with some 1/6 perpetrators, and that’s another reason that I think she’s beatable.