Political strategies

After Colorado primary, pundits discuss strategies as focus shifts to general election – The Durango Herald

Strategists say something big would have to happen to put Boebert off the winning streak

Lauren Boebert and Adam Frisch

As the winners of Tuesday’s primary election in Colorado focus on winning the November general election, experts say it will be an uphill battle for a Democrat to win in the 3rd congressional district.

CD-3 Rep. Lauren Boebert beat State Sen. Don Coram by nearly 30 points Tuesday in the Republican primary, while former Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch became the Democratic candidate after beating Sol Sandoval and Alex Walker.

According to former Colorado Republican Party state chairman and Republican political strategist Dick Wadhams, Boebert’s victory was not surprising. However, he said challenging an incumbent and still getting a third of the vote is impressive.

“If I had any words of recommendation for Congresswoman Boebert (it) it is to think of those 30% of the Republican electorate who voted against her and to think about what she can do in the next two years. to get those Republicans on his team,” he said. “I think that really matters.”

Wadhams said a challenge Frisch will face in the coming months will be gaining support from Democrats nationwide and from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“This neighborhood will not be on their radar screen. They’ve got a bunch of incumbents they’re trying to save and they’re just not going to pay much attention to a race with a fairly popular incumbent in what can be accurately described as a Republican district,” Wadhams said. “So, you know, it’s just the brutal reality of politics when you’re in a year like this for a Democratic candidate in a district like the third.”

Ted Trimpa, a Democratic strategist and attorney from Colorado, said it would be “very difficult” for Frisch to win CD-3 in November, and Boebert’s victory in the primary was no surprise. For CD-3, Trimpa said Boebert was a good choice.

“The numbers are too difficult,” he said. “The neighborhood and just by the number of Republicans you have, that would be very, very difficult. You have to try, you have to make them spend money, you have to make them work; I just think it would be very difficult for them to (beat her).

Wadhams criticized the strategy used by some Democrats in the district to try to beat Boebert in his primary by changing their registration to unaffiliated and voting in the Republican primary for Coram rather than voting in the Democratic primary, saying it sends the wrong message and admit defeat even before reaching the legislative elections.

“If I had been a Democratic leader in the 3rd District, I would have urged people not to, because it basically means, ‘We don’t have any hopes in the general election, so we have to try to (the ) get out’ in the primary,” he said. “That’s not a good message for your eventual nominee. It kind of says, ‘Democrats don’t think they can win in the 3rd (district) in general election.”

Wadhams said it would probably be out of Frisch’s control to beat Boebert.

“He’s going to campaign hard and he’s going to give his best against Boebert and hope lightning strikes. I mean, in a race like this, that’s all you can do. said Wadhams. “Just work really hard, try to get some media attention, try to engage him in debates and just try to get him through the campaign knowing full well it’s probably going to take something beyond your control to can It’s going to take some sort of surprise in October or some dramatic development within the race itself.

Trimpa agreed.

Statewide, Wadhams and Trimpa said they were surprised by the margins of victory in some of the state’s Republican primaries, such as the Senate and Secretary of State races. Additionally, the two said it was important to focus on people’s day-to-day issues, such as inflation, as people begin to think about how to win the general election.

“Inflation is going to be No. 1,” Trimpa said. “We can pick all kinds of trouble, but when you go to the grocery store and things go up more than 10%? I mean, people don’t buy meat because it’s getting too expensive. When they fill up their car, they look at how much a gallon is,” he said.

Overall, Trimpa said a big benefit of the June 28 primary was giving more attention to unaffiliated voters. Because Colorado has open primaries, unknowns about how they can vote can have a big impact on a race, he said.

“Even though as a Democrat I want to win, I also want something good for the state. And I think when you have rational candidates…then you can have a real debate, you can get an idea of ​​where your values ​​align and who you think would be best to lead the state or represent you,” he said.

Nina Heller is an intern for The Durango Herald and The Journal at Cortez and a student at American University in Washington, DC. She can be contacted at nheller@durangoherald.com.