It’s time to start the countdown to Lauren Boebert’s departure from Congress

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) tries to convince voters she cares about the environment.
Photo: Screenshot

Are Lauren Boebert’s days in Congress numbered? It sure looks as if the gun-toting, anti-LGBTQ+, Christian nationalist Republican from Colorado is facing increasingly tough odds in holding onto her seat, thanks in large part to, well, herself.

Boebert’s re-election in 2022 was a surprise, but not the kind of surprise that you’d expect. It was widely assumed that she would easily coast to victory. Instead, faced with a moderate Democrat in Adam Frisch, Boebert was caught in a nail-biter. It took two weeks to determine who won her district, which she ultimately won by just over 500 votes.

As it turns out, Boebert’s antics don’t endear her to voters. As one voter succinctly put it last year, “I think she’s sometimes off the deep end.”

Frisch, a former currency trader and Aspen City Council member, started his 2022 campaign with little name recognition and not a lot of money. He’s in a lot better shape this time around, and he is already running hard against Boebert.

Based on what Frisch has accomplished so far, Boebert should be worried. For one thing, more than half of the respondents in a recent poll had an unfavorable view of Boebert, a bad spot for a politician to be in. The same poll showed Frisch narrowly beating Boebert in a hypothetical matchup (the poll was funded by Frisch’s campaign).

Even more worrisome for Boebert is that Frisch is raking in money for his campaign. In the most recent quarter, Frisch brought in $2.6 million, more than three times what Boebert raised. Clearly, Frisch’s fundraising appeals, which include urging voters to throw Boebert out of office before she qualifies for a Congressional pension, are striking a chord.

Boebert isn’t facing a challenge just from Frisch. She’s got Republicans lining up against her as well. So far, two candidates have announced that they are challenging her in the GOP primary for the party’s nomination for the Congressional seat. One, financial advisor Russ Andrews, promises “drama free and logic based solutions.” The other candidate, attorney Jeff Hurd, pointedly said, “I’m not interested in becoming a social media celebrity.”

Of course, Boebert’s celebrity is her brand, so she isn’t about to moderate her image to boost her re-election chances. She recently proclaimed that conservatives are more oppressed than trans people, continued her obsessive attacks on Pete Buttigieg, and called LGBTQ+ people “degenerates.”

The problem Boebert has is that her district isn’t nearly as conservative as she wants to believe it is. Donald Trump carried her district in 2020, but only by five percentage points. Boebert behaves as if she’s in rural Texas, when in fact her district includes wealthy Aspen and heavily unionized Pueblo.

Boebert’s stunts haven’t just been causing her problems at home. She’s gotten into some high-profile clashes in D.C. Chief among these is the catfight between her and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). While the two entered Congress together as the QAnon Bobsey Twins, Greene has proven to be a smarter political operator, ingratiating herself to Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Boebert’s initial refusal to back McCarthy’s speakership bid led to a bathroom shouting match between her and Greene. It was the culmination of a year of feuding, which at times appeared close to getting physical.

Meantime, Frisch is trying to portray himself as a moderate Democrat, but that may not be what many Boebert-haters outside of Colorado are hoping for in a replacement. Frisch has distanced himself from President Biden, refusing to say if he will support the president’s re-election effort.

His views on energy policy and environmental issues don’t always line up with the party’s either. Frisch complains that the national party’s positions have inevitably led to it ceding rural America to the GOP because the Democrats have “botched rural America over the past 30 years.” While he has been supportive of LGBTQ+ issues and is likely to vote with Democrats on most issues, he’s also likely to depart from the party position if they don’t reflect the views of his district.

While Frisch is touting himself as the inevitable opponent in a rematch, he will face a primary himself. Grand Junction Mayor Anna Stout has also declared her candidacy.

Still, it does look like Frisch has the inside track to win the nomination. And the prospect of tossing Boebert out of Congress has energized not just rank-and-file Democrats but the party apparatus as well. The party has targeted Boebert’s seat as one that they intend to flip in 2024. With any luck, Boebert’s days in the House will be drawing to a close and she can go back to giving people food poisoning from her restaurant.

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