Democrats clearly are planning on another major campaign against Mike Coffman in 2018. Four of them (now three) have already indicated they are running.
Why? Coffman’s track record in crushing well-thought-of and well-funded Democrats is beyond debate. In the 2014 off-year election, he defeated Andrew Romanoff by 25,000 votes and last November, as Hillary Clinton was winning his district, Coffman slammed local legislator Morgan Carroll by 30,000 votes.
But Jason Crow, the designated establishment candidate, is leading the field and appears to have the national party’s backing. He is dealing with carpetbagger issues, but likely will be able to manage it with a move into the district.
In an interview with the Aurora Sentinel’s Ramsey Scott:
Political analyst Floyd Ciruli said it’s hard to determine if a lack of residency in a district produces a drag on a candidate’s chances of winning an election given all the factors that go into an election. In cases like Ossoff and Andrew Romanoff, who moved into the 6th Congressional District to unsuccessfully challenge Coffman in 2014, the main result is it puts Coffman’s credibility as an Aurora resident front and center.
“(The issue) highlights Coffman’s strengths. Coffman is the district,” Ciruli said. “He has really established his bonafides as an Auroran in that district, and so consequently if you do live outside the district, it is a tremendous contrast between the two candidates.”
Trump Makes the Difference for Democrats
But Democrats are motivated by what appears to be the unprecedented low approval ratings of President Trump. The general rule is that approval ratings at or below 40 percent produce very significant swings in congressional races.
Gallup reports that Trump has 50 percent or higher ratings in 17 states and he is below 40 percent in an equal number of states.
Several states with the highest Trump ratings surround Colorado: Utah (50%), Wyoming (56%), Idaho (53%), Montana (56%), Nebraska (52%) and Kansas (53%). But Colorado at 38 percent is a part of Trump’s worst 17 states, with western states Oregon (38%), Washington (36%) and New Mexico (37%).
National Democrats believe if there is at least a 24-seat wave in their favor (they need 24 to win the majority) that Mike Coffman’s seat is likely to be one of them. Their calculation demonstrates the power of national thinking on congressional strategy because by Coffman’s local performance, he looks nearly impossible to beat.