Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) barely topped her re-election challenger last November, and a new poll suggests that her perception problems may not yet be solved.
The closest 2022 US House race rather surprisingly came in the Centennial State’s 3rd District, known as the Western Slope seat and one that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+15. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 52.6R – 43.3D.
Freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) won re-election, but by a scant 546-vote margin over former Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch (D) in what must be considered a severe underperformance.
The Global Strategy Group went into the field during the March 29th through April 2nd period. The firm interviewed 500 registered voters with an oversample of 330 self-identified unaffiliated voters. The results show a race that hasn’t changed much since election night. The GSG ballot test produced both candidates, Rep. Boebert and Mr. Frisch who indicates he will run again, tallying 42% support. Adding leaners, Mr. Frisch would have a slight one-point edge.
In a situation where an incumbent from the majority party in a district underperforms, it is usually because of a perceived disconnect regarding issues of importance between the member and his or her constituency. According to the GSG numbers, such is the case here.
The most serious situation for Rep. Boebert is the perception that she is more concerned with promoting herself through social media than she is in digging deeper into issues that affect the district.
GSG asked the respondents to pick two statements that they believe best describe Rep. Boebert’s priorities. The top two responses were promoting herself on social media (38%; 43% among Unaffiliateds) and defending Donald Trump (33%; 38%). Third was jobs and the economy (24%; 23%), followed closely by investigating the Biden Administration (23%; 28%). Immigration (19%; 12% among Unaffiliateds) and inflation and cost of living (15%; 14%) were next in order.
Zeroing in on Rep. Boebert, the pollsters asked the respondents if they agreed or disagreed with three statements describing her. In each instance, 55% of the respondents agreed.
The statements were:
Rep. Boebert is more focused on getting attention than getting things done; Rep. Boebert puts ideology and partisanship ahead of getting results for the people she represents; and, she is a far-right extremist.
It is clear that the latter part of the GSG questionnaire centered around Rep. Boebert and certainly in a negative fashion. Therefore, a degree of the responses appears unfairly tilted against the Congresswoman.
Additionally, a disconnect seems present in terms of partisan identification. In poll’s early section, 24% said they either identified as a strong or weak Democrat, while 12% of the Unaffiliateds leaned toward the party. For the Republicans, 28% identified as strong or weak, and 19% of the Unaffiliateds leaned their way.
On a straight self-identification, 28% identified as Republicans, 24% as Democrats, and 48% Unaffiliated. This appears rather low for a district rated R+15 with a 9.3 favorable partisan lean.
Toward the end of the questionnaire, the actual respondent party registration figures were reported, and the stats revealed that 34% are registered as Republican, 25% Democratic, and 41% Unaffiliated. Thus, the stated identification was significantly different than the actual registration data, which could call at least some of the response totals into question.
This poll largely illustrates the reasons Rep. Boebert appears weak in a district that should be favorable. In order to improve her position for the 2024 campaign, the Congresswoman needs to better connect with the constituency and begin establishing herself around the issues and concerns that they believe are most important.
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