Friday, October 5, 2018

Coffman: Out of Reach?

Politico reported on September 28 that the House Congressional Leadership Fund, the PAC controlled by Speaker Paul Ryan and the leadership, has labeled the Mike Coffman race as “out of reach” and moved $1 million in TV advertising to other more winnable races.

Five-term Congressman Mike Coffman’s district has drifted to the left in the three elections since 2012 when Barack Obama won the district by 18,000 while Coffman beat the Democrat by 7,000. More spectacular was his victory in 2016 by 31,000, while Hillary Clinton was winning his seat by 34,000.

But today, polls and national pundits believe his reelection is in serious trouble. The respected Cook Political Report now rates the race “lean Democrat” from “toss-up.”
  • The only current non-partisan published poll from the New York Times and Siena College reports Democrat Jason Crow has an 11-point advantage, 51 percent to 40 percent for Coffman.
  • Two new partisan polls have the district at 11 points for Democrat Jason Crow (from left-leaning PAC) and 1 point for Crow from a respected Republican firm.
  • Nate Silver’s eponymous 538 gives the Democrats an 82 percent chance of winning the district from a calculation that includes partisanship and voting history of the district, campaign funding and challenger’s experience.
  • The Democrats have been pouring money into the district, but are now so confident their House Majority PAC has withdrawn some funds to place elsewhere.
Coffman’s problem in 2018 is more than the district’s shifting partisanship. His image of independence and moderation was overwhelmed by congressional action of repeal but no replace health care, a series of fatal gun incidents with children (and his strong NRA support), Republican fumbling with DACA and border security, and mostly just Donald Trump occupying all the political space, taking away even the most talented congressperson’s room to maneuver.

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