ICYMI: Trump wants to bleed RNC dry, GOP tries to give IVF framing another try

Trump's RNC takeover is his latest attempt to bleed his party dry

Trump isn’t just a grifter, he’s a vampire.

Lauren Boebert: The ‘uniparty’ is trying to ‘rig the election’ against me

That’s right, Lauren. It’s all a conspiracy. 

Cartoon: The unknown failures of Joe Biden

Sure you have the right guy?

Trump wants a VP pick who's not extreme on abortion. Good luck with that

We’d like a Republican nominee who is not a dictator-wannabe criminal, but you can’t have it all.

Republicans' self-inflicted IVF pain gets even worse

The only thing growing inside the GOP is more of a mess.

GOP seeks new way to attack Biden since impeachment scheme is a bust

If only Biden would do some of the 91 things that Trump has (allegedly) done, this would all be a lot easier.

State Freedom Caucuses are a thing now, and they're nuttier than the House is

Much like Moms for Liberty, these caucuses are spreading like a far-right fungus.

Watch Trump choke in this savage supercut of supercuts

Still can’t stop watching this.

Tide may be turning as Florida legislature kills multiple anti-LGBTQ+ bills

Well, at least it’s OK to say “gay” in Florida again.

House Republicans defy Trump to take down TikTok

What happens when the GOP goes against Honest Don’s wishes?  

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ICYMI: ‘Thoughts and prayers’ for Giuliani, plus Fox News doesn’t identify as ‘Swiftie’

Lauren Boebert utterly humiliated in Colorado straw poll 

Everything about this is so deeply satisfying. 

What goes around comes around: Bankrupt Rudy Giuliani claims Trump owes him money

The former New York mayor’s finances have been revealed and hot mess doesn't even begin to cover it.

E. Jean Carroll suggests she'll use the $83 million to create 'something Donald Trump hates'

This is fantastic! Bonus: Read why other conservatives appear to be sweating this judgment.

Cartoon: What's in Trump's box?

Hint: It’s not votes.

Fox News loses it over Taylor Swift

She did the impossible! She got the network to cover climate change.

Republicans admit impeaching Mayorkas is all politics

They are really out here spilling the beans to right-wing media. 

Florida GOP wants to block heat protection for workers. Good thing it's never hot there

That Florida legislators are moving to outlaw something that doesn’t exist might seem odd, even for Florida. But, of course, there’s more to the story.

Team Biden targets Trump on his tax cuts for the rich

A new line of attack is developing, one that the Biden campaign hopes will make it to discussion at your kitchen table. 

Watch Kari Lake get booed at GOP meeting after 'leaked' tape scandal

You hate to see it!

House GOP wages war with itself, the Senate, and reality

Infighting between the House and the Senate is a growing sh*t show and a huge reason nothing gets done.

X pauses some Taylor Swift searches as deepfake explicit images spread

Deepfake tools are a growing problem and they are “overwhelmingly weaponized against women.”

Santos' would-be GOP successor also has a problem with the truth

Congress just got rid of one pathological liar this session, and is now in danger of having that vacated seat filled by someone who also has a tenuous relationship with the truth.

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Republicans ignoring Boebert: ‘Come on’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a little exasperated with Fox News and with House Republicans after one of the loudest, Rep. Lauren Boebert, was thrown out of a theater production of Beetlejuice after vaping, recording the performance, and fondling her date. That's normally the sort of behavior that would result in a humiliated resignation, but as we all know, Republicans can break basic social norms with abandon.

And it is just so, so tiring. In a TikTok video, she said: 

All I gotta say is, I can't go out to lunch in Florida in my free time, not doing anything, just eating outside, and it's wall-to-wall Fox News coverage. And then you have a member of Congress engaging in sexually lewd acts in a public theater—and they got nothing to say.

I danced to [the band] Phoenix once in college, and it was, like, all over the place. But putting on a whole show of their own at Beetlejuice and it's—and there's nothing? I'm just saying be consistent. That's all I'm asking for. Equal treatment. I don't expect it—but come on.

Yes, we all know the same people shrieking over books about crayons or that Anne Frank once wrote "penis" in her diary won’t have a thing to say about a Republican being tossed out of a theater for pawing her date in an audience full of families. Fascism means you get to break rules far in excess of what you'd tolerate from the powerless. That's the whole deal.

And yes, we know it won't change. Democrats can't throw Boebert out of Congress, and Republicans won't have a peep to say about it, but at the least Democrats need to avoid the news channel that's as infamous for brushing off repulsive Republican behaviors as it is for creating faux-scandals when a Democrat goes to lunch.

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Watch a belligerent Boebert get booted from theater

Conservatives unleash conspiracy theories about Lauren Boebert's lewd date

Senate Republicans offended by gym shorts, less so by public groping

We did it! And it's all thanks to Molech! We're devoting this week's episode of "The Downballot" to giving praise to the dark god himself after New Hampshire Democrat Hal Rafter won a critical special election over Republican Jim Guzofski, the loony toons pastor who once ranted that liberals make "blood sacrifices to their god Molech." Democrats are now just one seat away from erasing the GOP's majority in the state House and should feel good about their chances in the Granite State next year. Republicans, meanwhile, can only stew bitterly that they lack the grassroots fundraising energy provided by Daily Kos, which endorsed Rafter and raised the bulk of his campaign funds via small donations.

Conservatives unleash conspiracy theories about Lauren Boebert’s lewd date

Rep. Lauren Boebert is getting the kind of attention that even she presumably doesn’t like. Last week she was kicked out of a Colorado theater for vaping, recording the show, and other disruptive behavior. After Boebert denied vaping, the theater released security footage showing her doing just that—and more. She and her date were fondling each other in ways that had to be uncomfortable for their neighbors.

To her credit, Boebert has apologized for her behavior. However, not content with the explanation that Boebert is who she has always appeared to be, some on the right have turned the incident into a conspiracy theory: Boebert was set up.

The New York Post emphasized that her date was a Democrat who owns a bar that’s hosted at least one drag show, and many took this as evidence of Boebert’s hypocrisy, while others used it to bolster the notion that she was set up. The latter claim is showing up all over social media, led by so-called journalist and Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Liz Crokin. “It turns out Lauren Boebert's mystery man is a Democrat bar owner,” Crokin tweeted. “If I was a wagering enthusiast, I would bet this guy was paid to set her up.”

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Crokin laid out an elaborate scenario: “She’s coming off a divorce, and she’s vulnerable. This guy comes into her life, charms her, seduces her and then probably gets her liquored up and takes her out in public. Stage set.” Honestly, Boebert probably is vulnerable as she divorces her longtime husband, and she gets to be privately messy over that if she wants to. But this was public misbehavior that impacted other people and ended, according to reports, with her repeatedly busting out the classic, “Do you know who I am?” That’s a statement of entitlement: I get to disrupt other people’s theater experience because I’m important.

Next, Crokin moves to the conspiracy that the stage was supposedly set for: “He then instigates her by fondling her in a theater that just happens to have night vision cameras right on them.  Then the whole incident is released to the public in what looks like high-definition video in an attempt to harm her reputation.” Of course, Boebert did not need to be persuaded into bad behavior. Even if you didn’t know who she was, she would stand out in the theater’s security video as the person vaping, waving her arms above her head, and taking flash photos. No one else visible in the video, which shows many rows in the theater, appeared to be behaving that way. (While the video is impressive for night vision, high-definition it is not.) Additionally, Boebert being kicked out of the theater and asking, “Do you know who I am?” had gotten plenty of attention before the video emerged. The vaping and taking pictures and disruptive behavior had already been publicly reported based on what the people around her in the theater were saying.

Crokin concluded: “This is all way too convenient. Whether her date was a part of it or not, this seems like a well-coordinated setup. These types of tactics and traps are used all the time, and I would know.” A well-coordinated setup? It kind of seems like there just happened to be a camera on Boebert being Boebert. If she had sat through the show without vaping and taking photographs and groping, they could have released video showing her in actual high definition through the entire show and it wouldn’t have made a splash. And you’d think a conspiracy theorist like Crokin would be aware of how often we are under surveillance in this day and age.

Boebert herself doesn’t seem to be embracing the conspiracy theory. Though she joked ruefully to TMZ that “I learned to check party affiliation before you go on a date,” she had nothing but positive words about the man in question, calling him “a wonderful man” and a “great man, great friend” although they’ve “peacefully parted.” But Crokin’s “Boebert was set up” theory went viral, with a stream of responses showing how eager some people are to believe the elaborate conspiracy over the idea that a woman with a history of minor arrests who spent the 2022 State of the Union yelling and heckling the president might not be the best-behaved person in a theater, either.

Boebert’s unruliness, her disrespect in political settings, is what her fans like about her. No one should be surprised that it’s not all a political calculation and that she really is that way.

What do you do if you're associated with one of the biggest election fraud scandals in recent memory? If you're Republican Mark Harris, you try running for office again! On this week's episode of "The Downballot," we revisit the absolutely wild story of Harris' 2018 campaign for Congress, when one of his consultants orchestrated a conspiracy to illegally collect blank absentee ballots from voters and then had his team fill them out before "casting" them. Officials wound up tossing the results of this almost-stolen election, but now Harris is back with a new bid for the House—and he won't shut up about his last race, even blaming Democrats for the debacle.

Senate Republicans offended by gym shorts, less so by public groping

To everyone’s horror, this weekend's big news revolved around video of Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert and her date vaping, taking flash photos, and groping each other in public during a performance of “Beetlejuice The Musical.” She got booted from a Denver theater for that, then ended up lying her ass off about it before she realized there was video, then shoved out a half-assed apology after the video was released and it showed much, much more than any of the rest of us wanted to see.

It’s no surprise that her colleagues on the right have responded with radio silence. In recent years, Republicans have honed an intentional strategy of “whataboutism” whenever one of their own gets caught in a scandal that would have political leaders calling for someone's resignation back when we all pretended politicians had a shred of decency. It's rote.

Russia boosted Trump's 2016 election with a bit of strategic hack-and-dump; Rudy Giuliani comes back with a new theory that Russia's enemy Ukraine was behind it all. Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner scores $2 billion in "investments" from Saudi royals immediately after departing the White House; suddenly House lawmakers are frothing with impeachment-level rage over the thought that President Joe Biden's son might have gotten a board position years ago based more on his name than his qualifications. Some Republican gets caught in a sex scandal, and that's enough for another two weeks of every other Republican in politics calling some other subset of Americans "groomers."

I'm not one who has much patience for "this thing is meant to be a distraction from that other news" claims, but a new Republican outrage at somebody not following The Esteemed Senate Dress Code came on conspicuously close to the weekend's video-assisted news of Boebert getting tossed from a theater for acts of public indecency that she would likely be prosecuted for if she wasn't a state big shot.

That's right: The latest Republican push is expressing public horror over a Democrat not meeting Senate dress code standards. Engaging in mammalian rutting behavior while the adults and children around you are trying to enjoy a high-priced musical production might count as a bit uncouth, in the same way that ransacking the Capitol might count as an ordinary tourist visit in Republican minds. But the sheer indecency of not following the dress code? Well, I never.

Police. Firefighters. Judges. Pilots. They all have uniforms. Ours is a suit and tie. We shouldn’t abandon it because it’s more comfortable to wear sweats. https://t.co/Ij9KOETPJk pic.twitter.com/9z8hP76cUX

— Mike Lee (@BasedMikeLee) September 18, 2023

Thank you for chiming in, well known Etiquette Master and Respecter of Our Institutionshttps://t.co/11LANAKdJH

— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) September 18, 2023

Axios reported that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has told the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms not to enforce the dress code anymore. This led to thinly veiled as well as direct jabs at Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman, who is known to favor hoodies and gym shorts. The Pennsylvania senator was not particularly in the mood to take etiquette lessons from the House Revenge Porn Caucus.

Thankfully, the nation's lower chamber lives by a higher code of conduct: displaying ding-a-ling pics in public hearings. https://t.co/a4sLQ7nSBL

— Senator John Fetterman (@SenFettermanPA) September 18, 2023

Yeah, this is the thing that will bring America down: not wearing formal attire when you're gleefully showing off stolen pictures of the president's son's penis on C-SPAN. Or wearing sweats when you're getting publicly mauled by your date in a manner that would get you fired as a strip club lap dancer, just after vaping in a pregnant woman's face, rather than wearing something classy.

This is the hill Republicans will die on rather than comment on the video that just 10 years ago would have resulted in the immediate resignation of any politician anywhere. Pay no attention to the humping couple in the theater: This guy over here doesn't have his tie on!

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Conservative youth convention no longer promoting Boebert appearance

Divorce is hard, new places are too: Read Boebert's BS apology for 'Beetlejuice' behavior

Lauren Boebert’s claims go up in smoke as new video emerges

What do you do if you're associated with one of the biggest election fraud scandals in recent memory? If you're Republican Mark Harris, you try running for office again! On this week's episode of "The Downballot," we revisit the absolutely wild story of Harris' 2018 campaign for Congress, when one of his consultants orchestrated a conspiracy to illegally collect blank absentee ballots from voters and then had his team fill them out before "casting" them. Officials wound up tossing the results of this almost-stolen election, but now Harris is back with a new bid for the House—and he won't shut up about his last race, even blaming Democrats for the debacle.

Divorce is hard, new places are too: Read Boebert’s BS apology for ‘Beetlejuice’ behavior

Lauren Boebert wants you to know she’s going through some things, okay?

The Colorado representative, who just barely won reelection in 2022 over Democrat Adam Frisch, saw some severe damage done this week to her hard-won reputation as one of Congress’ most obnoxious members. After news emerged that she and her companion were removed from a Denver theatrical production of “Beetlejuice” for—well, lots of reasons—the proud Freedom Caucus member was quick to make a mockery of her bad behavior—or rather the theater’s response to it.

But now Boebert’s apologizing … for behavior she initially denied.

The initial story is a familiar one to anyone who’s seen a performance of anything with a big group. From the redacted Buell Theatre incident report, first obtained Monday by The Colorado Sun:

Lower director (NAME REDACTED), received three different complaints about the patrons sitting in Orch C Row E seats 1 and 2 that they were vaping, singing, causing a disturbance. (NAME REDACTED) radioed for support and supervisor Jorge, Roxanne, and I respond to the location.

The patrons were not at their seats when we arrived, and we waited until they returned. Once the patrons returned, I informed them that our usher team had noticed vaping and also that they were causing a disturbance for the area with noise, singing, using their cell phone, and that they need to be respectful to their neighbors.

Since, there was already multiple complaints, I informed the patrons that if there was another issue that they would be asked to leave. The patrons were argumentative.

Predictably, “there was another issue,” and the patrons were asked to leave.

They told me they would not leave. I told them that they need to leave the theatre and if they do not, they will be trespassing. The patrons said they would not leave. I told them I would going to get Denver Police. They said go get them.

I walk out into the vestibule and radioed for support.


The patron[s] left the theatre on their own. (NAME REDACTED) said he told them they could get banned and they exited.

I speak to the patrons in the vestibule, again telling them they have to leave the property and they argue. They say stuff like “do you know who I am” “I am on the board” “I will be contacting the mayor.”

On Monday, Team Boebert declined to comment to The Sun, but by late Tuesday, Boebert, 36, offered a signature snarky tweet about the incident.

It's true, I did thoroughly enjoy the AMAZING Beetlejuice at the Buell Theatre and I plead guilty to laughing and singing too loud! 🤭 Everyone should go see it if you get the chance this week and please let me know how it ends! 😅https://t.co/8JHypcCKsP

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) September 12, 2023

On Wednesday, the local NBC affiliate got surveillance footage of the incident, shattering Boebert’s cheeky downplay, and painting an even worse picture of the her antics than the Buell incident report did. With all attention focused on Boebert’s tasteless disruption—rather than, say, making fun of (but still amplifying) what must’ve been a hard-won POLITICO puff piece published that very morning—Team Boebert went on the offensive, accusing the Buell Theatre workers and attendees of lying.

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The Washington Post:

Drew Sexton, Boebert’s campaign manager, confirmed that the congresswoman was escorted out of the performance, but he disputed the alleged behavior cited by the venue.

“I can confirm the stunning and salacious rumors: in her personal time, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert is indeed a supporter of the performing arts (gasp!) and, to the dismay of a select few, enthusiastically enjoyed a weekend performance of Beetlejuice,” he said in a statement.

Sexton denied that Boebert was vaping during “Beetlejuice,” saying that heavy fog machines and electronic cigarettes were used during the show, so there might have been “a misunderstanding from someone sitting near her.”

Sure, Jan. Even Boebert made light of the situation.

On Thursday? A pregnant woman sitting behind Boebert and her beau spoke to The Denver Post, telling her side of the “surreal” story. 

The woman says Boebert took multiple long videos during the first half of the performance. When she asked Boebert to stop vaping, the congresswoman simply said “no,” the woman said. Boebert was also kissing the man she was with, and singing along loudly with her hands in the air, the woman said.

“At intermission, I asked, ‘Are there any other seats available? Can we sit somewhere else?’” the woman said. “The usher said, ‘You’re not the first complaint we had.’ ”

When the woman returned with her husband to their seats, she said Boebert called her a “sad and miserable person.”

“The guy she was with offered to buy me and my husband cocktails. I’m pregnant!” she said.

Which brings us to Friday, when more footage shot all sorts of holes in Boebert’s denials of vaping. 

What’s a panicked, freshly single new grandma who was just 546 votes away from losing the closest House race of 2022 to do? Faux-pologize, of course, and invoke her ongoing divorce.

The past few days have been difficult and humbling, and I’m truly sorry for the unwanted attention my Sunday evening in Denver has brought to the community. While none of my actions or words as a private citizen that night were intended to be malicious or meant to cause harm, the reality is they did and I regret that.

There’s no perfect blueprint for going through a public and difficult divorce, which over the past few months has made for a challenging personal time for me and my entire family. I’ve tried to handle it with strength and grace as best I can, but I simply fell short of my values on Sunday. That’s unacceptable and I’m sorry.

Whether it was the excitement of seeing a much-anticipated production or the natural anxiety of being in a new environment, I genuinely did not recall vaping that evening when I discussed the night’s events with my campaign team while confirming my enthusiasm for the musical. Regardless of my belief, it’s clear now that was not accurate. It was not my or my campaign’s intention to mislead, but we do understand the nature of how this looks. We know we will have to work to earn your trust back and it may not happen overnight, but we will do it.

I’m deeply thankful to those in the 3rd District who have defended me and reached out this week and offered grace and support when I needed it most. I’ve learned some humbling lessons these last few days but I vow moving forward, I will make you proud.

Sure, Lauren. We all have those stories where “new environment” anxiety made us forget what we did in said environment! And who hasn’t insulted a nearby pregnant woman when anticipation is on the line? Divorce is hard, especially when one is as committed to destroying democracy as Boebert and her Freedom Caucus pals are.

Greene throws tantrum over Gaetz stealing her impeachment thunder

House Republicans are moving toward impeaching President Joe Biden for absolutely no wrongdoing—which is exactly what Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has wanted all along. And once again she’s furious, because someone else is taking the credit.

Today, the target of her ire is Rep. Matt Gaetz, who did a victory lap on the claim that his recent threats against Kevin McCarthy’s speakership had made the difference.

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In June, Greene had a public fight with Rep. Lauren Boebert over Boebert’s impeachment push. “I had already introduced articles of impeachment on Joe Biden for the border, asked her to co-sponsor mine—she didn’t,” Greene said at the time. “She basically copied my articles and then introduced them and then changed them to a privileged resolution.”

In short: “Me, me, me! I did it first! How dare they take credit for my idea?”

This is all incredibly petty, showing conclusively that all of these people are in it for the attention—in the form of Fox News hits and lucrative fundraising emails. But it also shows what a terrible organizer Greene is. This has been her big issue for months, and she couldn’t get Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz to sign on? Where exactly did she think she was getting the rest of the votes she needed? Sure, both Boebert and Gaetz may have been waiting for the moment they could individually make a splash with a big show on impeachment, but wouldn’t a good organizer committed to a specific outcome have spent months cultivating them and offering them the opportunities their egos demanded, even if it meant stepping out of the spotlight a little bit?

But no, Greene’s commitment to sole credit is so intense that she doesn't see other people pushing the same issue as opportunities. She doesn't try to court them and work together to build pressure. If what you really want is a specific outcome, you welcome people to the effort. If what you really want is attention, you view other people’s support for the same idea as a threat.

Marjorie Taylor Greene is in this for the attention. And the fact that so many of her fellow House Republicans take the same approach is one of the major reasons they are so ineffective at everything they claim to want to do.

Morning Digest: Democrats’ new Florida recruit has a plan to exploit Rick Scott’s bungling

The Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, and Stephen Wolf, with additional contributions from the Daily Kos Elections team.

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Leading Off

FL-Sen: Former Florida Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell kicked off her campaign to unseat Republican Sen. Rick Scott on Tuesday, a development that gives national Democrats the recruit they want for what will be a challenging contest. Mucarsel-Powell, though, is hoping that Scott's own vulnerabilities, as well as a backlash to Gov. Ron DeSantis' far-right agenda, will give her the chance to score an upset in a longtime swing state that veered sharply to the right in 2022.

Mucarsel-Powell, who flipped a competitive Miami-area House seat in 2018 but lost it two years later, first needs to win the primary. However, she begins as the strong favorite to become the first Latina Democrat ever nominated for statewide office.

The only other notable candidate who has launched a bid is Navy veteran Phil Ehr, who raised $2 million for his 2020 campaign against the nationally infamous Rep. Matt Gaetz in the safely red 1st District, but he's so far attracted no major allies. Former Rep. Alan Grayson also is talking about running and even filed FEC paperwork in late June, but his deliberations have attracted little attention now that he's well into the perennial candidate stage of his career.

Scott, who became wealthy running what was the nation's largest for-profit hospital chain, HCA, used his vast personal resources to win two tight races for governor in 2010 and 2014 before narrowly unseating Sen. Bill Nelson in 2018.

His political fortunes, though, took a sharp downturn last cycle after a chaotic tenure as head of the NRSC that was defined by a feud with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and saw the GOP manage to defy history by actually losing a seat. One of Scott's many mistakes came early in 2022 when he unveiled a plan to "sunset" all federal legislation, including Social Security, after five years, an agenda that Democrats were only too happy to make Republican Senate candidates answer for.

Scott's proposal received new attention earlier this year when President Joe Biden attacked it in his State of the Union address—a pile-on that McConnell was only too happy to join. "I think it will be a challenge for him to deal with this in his own reelection in Florida, a state with more elderly people than any state in America," said McConnell of the senator who months before had tried to oust him as the GOP's Senate leader. (The bad blood between the two camps continues to linger, with one unnamed McConnell ally using just two words to describe Scott to Time magazine in April: "Ass clown.")

Scott soon edited his "sunset" plan to include "specific exceptions of Social Security, Medicare, national security, veterans benefits, and other essential services," but Mucarsel-Powell made it clear this week that his belated about-face wouldn't deter her from making Scott's blunder an issue. "He wrote the plan that could take away the Social Security and Medicare you worked and paid for," she said in a kickoff video that also insinuated Scott had shirked his duties to the public while becoming even richer during his time in office.

The former congresswoman went on to highlight the most notorious chapter of Scott's business career: his company's 2003 guilty plea in what the Department of Justice at the time proclaimed was "the most comprehensive health care fraud investigation" it had ever undertaken. (HCA wound up paying a record $1.7 billion in fines.)  The scandal was never quite enough to deny Scott victory in any of his previous elections, but Mucarsel-Powell is hoping it will help her frame this race as a battle between an immigrant from Ecuador who once "worked for minimum wage in a donut shop" and a wealthy incumbent "who cuts taxes for himself, but he'd raise them for you."

Mucarsel-Powell is also hoping to get some help at the top of the ticket if she's to give Florida Democrats their first win in a federal statewide race since 2012. Donald Trump carried the Sunshine State 51-48 in 2020 even as he was losing most other swing states, but it was landslides by DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio in 2022 that truly left Democrats in a funk. However, there are signs that Joe Biden is serious about keeping Florida in play next year, as his campaign included the state as part of a new $25 million TV and digital buy covering several battlegrounds.

And Democrats have some reason to be optimistic that, if serious resources are allocated here, their message could gain traction. Abortion rights advocates are collecting signatures to place a constitutional amendment on next year's ballot that would both undo the six-week abortion ban that DeSantis signed into law in April and allow the procedure to take place up to 24 weeks into pregnancy. That could create problems for Republican candidates like Scott, who backed DeSantis' ban and has indicated support for a federal ban as well.

The former congresswoman is also betting that voters are tired of other parts of DeSantis' agenda. "These out-of-touch extremists cannot continue to wield the levers of power in our state," she declared last month. Democrats are hoping that Donna Deegan's upset win in the May race for mayor of Jacksonville was an early sign that Floridians are indeed growing weary of what the DeSantis-era GOP has to offer. They'll also have an early chance to prove that victory was no fluke in a Jan. 16 special election where they'll try to flip a competitive state House seat in the Orlando area.

Democrats also hope that Mucarsel-Powell, who was the first immigrant from South America ever elected to Congress, will be able to appeal to the many Latino voters who switched sides and backed Trump in 2020 after voting for Hillary Clinton four years earlier. Mucarsel-Powell herself experienced that swing the hard way in 2020 as the old version of her 26th Congressional District, where the electorate had a large number of Cuban Americans and voters with ties to elsewhere in Latin America, veered from a 57-41 win for Clinton all the way to a 53-47 Trump victory, a transformation that helped Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez unseat her 52-48.

"Yes, the fear of socialism is real and engrained for those of us who fled dangerous places in search of the American dream," Mucarsel-Powell wrote in a Twitter thread two weeks after her defeat. "My own father was murdered by a criminal with a gun in Ecuador. But it's not why I lost and it's not the only reason South Florida went red."

"There were many factors," she continued, including "a targeted disinformation campaign to Latinos; an electorate desperate to re-open, wracked with fear over the economic consequences; a national party that thinks racial identity is how we vote." Mucarsel-Powell went on to argue that state and national Democrats need to "step back and deeply analyze how we're talking to Latinos and every voter." Now she'll have the chance to test out her own prescription statewide.


NV-Sen: Duty First, a super PAC that backs Army veteran Sam Brown, has publicized an internal from Public Opinion Strategies that shows him beating election conspiracy theorist Jim Marchant 33-15 in the GOP primary, with no one else taking more than 2%. This is the first survey we've seen of the contest to face Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen.


CA-22: Democratic state Sen. Melissa Hurtado announced Tuesday that she would challenge Republican Rep. David Valadao in California's 22nd District, a Central Valley constituency that favored Joe Biden by a 55-42 margin in 2020. Hurtado joins former Assemblyman Rudy Salas, a Democrat who is running to avenge his 52-48 loss last year against Valadao, in the top-two primary.

Hurtado joined the state Senate in 2018 when she unseated Republican incumbent Andy Vidak 56-44, a victory that made the 30-year-old the youngest woman ever elected to the chamber. She faced a tough battle four years later to remain there, though, especially after the state's independent redistricting commission left her with a seat that was about one-third new to her.

Democrats were also only too aware that the party's long struggle to turn out their Central Valley base in non-presidential cycles meant that the electorate would be considerably more conservative than the one that favored Biden 53-45 two years before in Hurtado's revamped 16th Senate District. Republican Brian Dahle ended up scoring a 55-45 victory here over Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, but Hurtado narrowly held on and beat Republican David Shepard by 13 votes.

Hurtado's tight win came the same night that Valadao defeated Salas in one of the year's most expensive House races as Dahle was carrying his seat 52-48. Salas soon began laying the groundwork for a rematch, but Hurtado's name only surfaced a week after the former assemblyman launched his campaign in July. She begins the contest with a big geographic base of support, though: Hurtado already represents 96% of the 22nd District, according to calculations by Daily Kos Elections, while Salas served just over half of the seat when he lost to Valadao.

Both Salas, who earned an endorsement last week from Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, and Hurtado would be the first Latino to represent the Central Valley in the House. Valadao, for his part, is one of several people of Portuguese descent who has represented this heavily Latino area.

CO-03: Democrat Adam Frisch has publicized an internal from Keating Research that shows him edging out far-right Rep. Lauren Boebert 50-48 less than a year after she only fended him off by 546 votes; the memo notes that Keating's October 2022 survey showed Boebert ahead 47-45 at a time when almost everyone expected her to win easily. The sample favors Donald Trump 49-44, which would mark a small drop from his 53-45 margin in 2020. The memo does not mention Grand Junction Mayor Anna Stout, who joined the Democratic primary last month.

RI-01: We still haven't seen any negative TV ads two weeks ahead of the packed Sept. 5 Democratic primary, and both Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos and former Biden administration official Gabe Amo are remaining positive in their newest spots. Matos is emphasizing her support for abortion rights in what WPRI's Ted Nesi says is her campaign's first TV commercial in two weeks. (EMILY's List and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus BOLD PAC have been airing pro-Matos ads while she's been off the air.) Amo, meanwhile, touts his White House experience.


MI State House: The Michigan Board of Canvassers on Monday approved recall petitions against state Rep. Sharon MacDonell while once again rejecting those filed against five other Democrats; recall proponents also withdrew their paperwork against a seventh Democrat, state Rep. Reggie Miller. Biden carried MacDonell's 56th District 57-41, which makes it the bluest of the targeted seats. Democrats currently hold a 56-54 majority in the chamber.

Conservatives looking to oust MacDonell will have 180 days to collect roughly 11,000 signatures, a figure that represents 25% of the votes cast in the district during the most recent general election, but all of them must be gathered within a 60-day timeframe. However, the attorney representing the six Democrats, former state party chair Mark Brewer, declared that he'll appeal the decision, which he says will automatically prevent signature collection efforts from going forward for 40 days.

The bipartisan Board of Canvassers voted 3-0 to approve the recall campaign against MacDonell (one Democrat was absent) after determining that her detractors, by citing her vote for gun safety legislation, provided enough information about why they want her ousted. (Brewer argues the paperwork is still too vague.) The body, though, voted 2-1 to reject petitions filed against the other five Democrats, with the majority saying the language didn't do an acceptable job summarizing the legislation they supported.

Mayors and County Leaders

Houston, TX Mayor: Candidate filing closed Monday for Houston's Nov. 7 nonpartisan primaries, and the wealthy attorney Tony Buzbee waited until the final hours of qualifying to announce that he'd campaign for a spot on the city council rather than wage a second bid for mayor. Buzbee, an independent who serves as GOP Attorney General Ken Paxton's lead attorney for his upcoming impeachment trial, was the only notable politician who was still publicly undecided about running to succeed termed-out Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner, and there were no other last-minute developments in the mayoral contest.

A pair of prominent Democrats, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and state Sen. John Whitmire, remain the frontrunners in the 17-way race to succeed Turner. Also in the running are City Council member Robert Gallegos; former METRO board chair Gilbert Garcia; attorney Lee Kaplan; and former City Councilmember Jack Christie, who is the only notable Republican in the contest. A runoff would take place either on Dec. 9 or Dec. 16 unless one candidate wins a majority, though that likely second round has not yet been scheduled.

The only poll we've seen in months was a July survey from the University of Houston that showed Whitmire and Jackson Lee taking 34% and 32%, respectively, with Garcia at just 3% (Christie, who was not yet running, was not included.) Responds, though, decisively favored Whitmire 51-33 in a runoff.

Morning Digest: New North Dakota initiative would bar octogenarians from Congress

The Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, and Stephen Wolf, with additional contributions from the Daily Kos Elections team.

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Leading Off

ND Ballot: North Dakota officials on Friday gave the green light to advocates for term limits to start collecting signatures for a proposed amendment to the state constitution to bar anyone older than 80 from representing the state in Congress. The measure could, however, have a tough time surviving a court challenge, though it joins a long history of conservatives testing the limits of a 1995 U.S. Supreme Court decision that held that states cannot add further qualifications to candidates for Congress beyond those outlined in the U.S. Constitution.

That 1995 ruling, known as U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton, struck down an Arkansas ballot initiative that tried to impose term limits on members of the state's congressional delegation. The court's 5-4 decision, which saw swing Justice Anthony Kennedy join the four liberal justices, explained that the only restrictions states could impose on congressional candidates were the ones spelled out in the nation's governing document: namely, a minimum (but not maximum) age, a minimum period of U.S. citizenship, and residency in the state they're seeking to represent at the time of election. Clarence Thomas, however, wrote a dissent that three fellow conservatives joined, saying he would have allowed Arkansas' law to stand.

Last year, Republicans in Tennessee decided to test whether Thomas' views might now hold sway on the Supreme Court, whose membership is now considerably further to the right than it was three decades ago. The GOP-dominated state legislature imposed a requirement that U.S. House candidates must have voted in the previous three statewide general elections to be eligible to run, a move that seemed to be aimed at blocking Morgan Ortagus, a former State Department spokesperson, from seeking the open 5th Congressional District. (Ortagus had only relocated from D.C. in 2021.)

The bill didn't apply last cycle because Gov. Bill Lee only allowed it to become law after the candidate filing deadline had passed. However, the state GOP's executive committee later used a different state law to eject Ortagus and two others from the ballot for not meeting the party's definition of a "bona fide" Republican. At least two of the plan's proponents, though, had much more than 2022 in mind, as they explicitly said they hoped the Supreme Court would overturn U.S. Term Limits. First, though, a candidate impacted by the law would have to file suit, which has not yet happened.

In North Dakota, meanwhile, organizers are seeking to collect signatures to impose a different requirement that, like Tennessee's, also isn't found in the Constitution. The proposed amendment would forbid anyone who would turn 81 before the end of their term from being elected or appointed to Congress. The measure also includes a section saying that, in the event that the courts block this maximum age limit, a "ballot advisory" would appear next to the names of congressional candidates on the ballot informing voters how old they'd be when their term would end.

The effort is being spearheaded by Jared Hendrix, a GOP party official who played a key role in electing and defending members of the legislature's far-right "Bastiat Caucus" (named after the 19th century French economist who championed free markets) and last year helped pass a term-limits measure applying to the governor and state legislators. Hendrix tells the Associated Press' Jack Dura that his group is aiming to get the measure on the June primary ballot rather than wait for next year's general election, saying, "Our plan is to aggressively and quickly gather signatures before cold weather hits."

Hendrix and his allies have until Feb. 12 to turn in about 31,200 signatures, a figure that represents 4% of the state's population (North Dakota is the only state that doesn't require voter registration) in order to meet his timeline; if they submit in their petitions later, the amendment wouldn't go before voters until November 2024. No matter what, though, it would only take a simple majority to pass the proposal at the ballot box.

Congressional elections could experience some major changes coast to coast if the Supreme Court were to chart a new course, but it wouldn't immediately impact any of the three members of the Peace Garden State's all-GOP delegation. Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer are 66 and 62, respectively, while Rep. Kelly Armstrong is 46. Of course, many members of Congress have served (or currently serve) into their 80s and even beyond: Texas Rep. Ralph Hall was 91 when his career came to an end, while South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond remained in office until he was 100.


MI-Sen: GOP Rep. Lisa McClain told The Detroit News Wednesday that she's decided not to seek Michigan's open Senate seat.

NV-Sen: An unnamed source tells NBC that Jeffrey Ross Gunter, who had a turbulent tenure as Trump's ambassador to Iceland from 2019 to 2021, plans to launch a bid against Democratic Sen. Jackie Rosen sometime early next month. Gunter would join a GOP primary that includes Army veteran Sam Brown, whose kickoff this month came as welcome news to the NRSC, and Jim Marchant, the Big Lie spreader who narrowly lost last year's race for Nevada secretary of state.


IN-Gov: Howey Politics wrote Thursday that it anticipates outgoing state Commerce Secretary Brad Chambers will join the GOP primary "[s]ometime between now and Labor Day."

NC-Gov: Though term-limited Gov. Roy Cooper had previously declined to endorse Josh Stein to succeed him next year, he told a recent gathering of the Democratic Governors Association that one of his priorities is "getting North Carolina's Attorney General Josh Stein elected," in the words of Punchbowl News. Stein remains the only notable Democrat in the race for governor, but last month, Supreme Court Justice Mike Morgan, who is retiring from his current post, said that he's considering a bid. Cooper's comments might therefore be a subtle message that he'd prefer to see Stein avoid any competition in the primary, or that he'd be willing to help him secure the nomination if he does get company.


CA-22: Democratic state Sen. Melissa Hurtado on Wednesday filed FEC paperwork for a potential campaign against GOP Rep. David Valadao. Hurtado would join a top-two primary that includes 2022 nominee Rudy Salas, who lost a tight and expensive race last time: Politico notes that Salas enjoys the support of the number-three Democrat in the House, 33rd District Rep. Pete Aguilar, for his second try.

CO-03: Grand Junction Mayor Anna Stout announced Wednesday that she'll seek the Democratic nod to take on far-right Lauren Boebert, a move that comes months after 2022 nominee Adam Frisch launched his second bid after coming shockingly close to victory. Stout was elected in 2019 to the city council for this 68,000-person community where Trump won roughly 56-41 in 2020, and her colleagues chose her to serve a second one-year term as mayor in April. Colorado Public Radio also adds that she has "developed a reputation as a moderate lawmaker."

Stout will be in for an expensive fight against Frisch, who hauled in a massive $2.6 million during the second quarter of the year and finished June with $2.5 million in the bank. Boebert, who fended Frisch off by all of 546 votes last year, took in $810,000 during this time and had $1.4 million on-hand. Donald Trump carried this western Colorado district 53-45, but Democrats are hoping Boebert's tough race last year means she'll be in for another serious fight in 2024.

NH-01: Former Executive Councilor Russell Prescott on Thursday became the first notable Republican to launch a campaign against Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas, an announcement that came less than a year after Prescott badly lost the 2022 primary for this eastern New Hampshire constituency. He's likely to once again face intra-party opposition, though, in a longtime swing seat that favored Joe Biden 52-46.

Prescott is a longtime Granite State politician who won reelection to the state Senate in the 2002 general election by fending off none other than now-Sen. Maggie Hassan; Hassan unseated him in their 2004 rematch, but Prescott reclaimed his seat by riding the 2010 red wave to victory in their third and final bout. (Hassan herself bounced back in 2012 by winning the governorship.) Prescott made the jump to the powerful Executive Council in 2016 and narrowly won re-election two years later before retiring in 2020.

Prescott tried to return to elected office last cycle when he kicked off his campaign to take on Pappas, who had served with him on the Executive Council during his first term, just three-and-a-half months before the primary, but things did not go well. The candidate, whose $350,000 loan accounted for most of his budget, struggled to gain traction in a 10-way contest dominated by 2020 nominee Matt Mowers and election denier Karoline Leavitt: Leavitt beat out Mowers 34-25, with former TV reporter Gail Huff Brown taking 17% and Prescott lagging in fourth place with just 10%. Republicans hoped that another red wave would wash up, but Pappas instead beat Leavitt by a convincing 54-46.

NY-22: GOP Rep. Brandon Williams' office said Wednesday that the congressman was back in the hospital due to a "complication" following the heart bypass surgery he received two weeks ago. Williams' team added that he would be absent from the House "for the remainder of the week."

RI-01: The State Board of Elections put out a statement Wednesday saying it would not review any signatures from Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos' campaign, declaring, "Local boards did their job, verifying signatures, rejecting signatures, identifying a subset of rejected signatures as potentially fraudulent, and referring these to state and local law enforcement for criminal investigation." The state attorney general's office is investigating allegations that Matos' team submitted fraudulent petitions, but the Board of Elections argues she still turned in more than enough valid signatures to appear on the crowded Sept. 6 special Democratic primary ballot.

Meanwhile, former state Rep. Aaron Regunberg has begun what his team tells WPRI's Ted Nesi is a $300,000 TV buy through Election Day, which is the most that anyone has committed to spending on the airwaves. Regunberg's two inaugural spots (here and here) tout him as an effective progressive who "took on the old guard" and touts his support for Medicare for All and a Green New Deal. The latter ad also informs viewers that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is backing Regunberg, an endorsement that became public the same day the spots debuted.

Nesi relays that Matos and former Biden administration official Gabe Amo, who each began their own opening buys, have spent or booked $280,000 and $215,000, respectively. Nesi adds that a fourth candidate, clean energy investor Don Carlson has increased his broadcast TV budget to $240,000 and will start advertising on Tuesday rather than in mid-August as he originally planned. Navy veteran Walter Berbrick has yet to launch any spots, though he did secure an endorsement from VoteVets this week.

Secretaries of State

OR-SoS: State Treasurer Tobias Read, who lost last year's Democratic primary for governor to Tina Kotek 56-32, this week became the first notable candidate to launch a bid for secretary of state. The post is held by LaVonne Griffin-Valade, whom Kotek appointed in late June after Democratic incumbent Shemia Fagan resigned in May following her admission that she'd been doing paid consulting work for a cannabis company at a time when her office was finishing an audit into how the state regulates such businesses. The Oregon Capitol Chronicle writes that Griffin-Valade "has said she doesn't plan to run for a full term," though there's no quote from her.

Because Oregon is one of a few states that lack a lieutenant governor’s office, the secretary of state is normally first in line to succeed the governor if the latter office becomes vacant. However, because that provision only applies to elected secretaries, Read took over the top spot in the line of succession once Fagan resigned, and if he’s elected secretary of state next year, he would remain first in line despite switching offices.

Ballot Measures

ME Ballot: Democratic Gov. Janet Mills unexpectedly announced Wednesday that a referendum to replace Maine's current state flag with one that was in use from 1901 to 1909 will take place in November 2024 rather than this fall. Mills was able to delay the referendum by not signing or vetoing the bill authorizing the vote, a move that ensured it would only take effect when the legislature reconvenes in January. "Rather than sign the bill and rush the question to ballot in little more than three months, she will … allow time for robust public debate and discussion on all sides of the issue," her team explained.

Maine's existing flag features, in the words of the Associated Press, "the state's coat of arms, which includes a pine tree, a moose, a seafarer and a lumberjack, against a blue background." The 1901 design, by contrast, shows just a green pine tree and blue star across a yellow backdrop, which proponents argue makes for a more distinctive image. Critics of the existing flag also argue that the design is far too cluttered.

However, as the Boston Globe recently explained, the fight over what flag to fly goes far beyond aesthetic preferences. "They want to take the farmer and the fisherman off the flag, to disappear them," a supporter of the status quo told the paper, continuing, "and to me that’s like what’s been done to the lobstermen and the fishermen in real life, over-regulating them and making it harder if not impossible to make a living."

Mayors and County Leaders

Houston, TX Mayor: The University of Houston is out with the first poll anyone has released since Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee launched her campaign four months ago, and it finds that, while she's well-positioned to advance to a runoff with state Sen. John Whitmire, she'd be the underdog against her fellow Democrat in a second round.

The school first looks at the Nov. 7 nonpartisan primary to succeed termed-out Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner and has Whitmire and Jackson Lee taking 34% and 32%, respectively, with former METRO board chair Gilbert Garcia a very distant third with just 3%. U of H, though, shows Whitmire defeating the congresswoman 51-33 in a runoff. (The date has not yet been scheduled.)

While both the frontrunners are longtime Democratic officeholders in this blue city, the school shows Whitmer, who has sided with the GOP on multiple votes against bail reform, winning over Republican voters by an astounding 88-2 as independents back him 60-18. Jackson Lee, who reliably votes with her party in D.C., carries Democrats 55-28, but U of H says that's far from enough.

Nashville, TN Mayor: Former city economic development chief Matt Wiltshire and state Sen. Jeff Yarbro each earned a big-name endorsement Wednesday with about a week to go before the Aug. 4 nonpartisan primary to succeed retiring Mayor John Cooper. In Wiltshire's corner is Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall, of whom the Nashville Banner writes, "If there is any vestige of a political machine left in the county, it belongs to Hall."

Yarbro, meanwhile, has the support of former Rep. Jim Cooper, who represented the entire city in Congress from 2003 until he left office early this year after Republican mapmakers passed an aggressive new gerrymander. Cooper is the brother of the current mayor, who has not yet taken sides. A GBAO Strategies survey taken July 17-19 for the Tennessee Laborers PAC, which doesn't appear to have taken sides in the crowded contest, also finds both Wiltshire and Yarbro locked in a tight race along with GOP strategist Alice Rolli for the second spot in the all-but-certain Sept. 14 runoff.

Council member Freddie O'Connell, who has emphasized his opposition to John Cooper's successful drive this year to fund a new stadium for the Tennessee Titans, is a clear first with 21%. Rolli, who is the only notable Republican in the running, holds a tiny 13-12 edge over Yarbro for second, with Wiltshire at 10%. State Sen. Heidi Campbell and Council member Sharon Hurt respectively take 8% and 6%, with 4% going to Davidson County Property Assessor Vivian Wilhoite.

We've seen just one other survey this month, a Music City Research survey taken July 5-6 that put O'Connell at 22% as Wiltshire led Rolli 17-13 for second. As we've noted before, that pollster is affiliated with a firm run by one of O'Connell's supporters, fellow Metro Council member Dave Rosenberg: Rosenberg told us earlier this month that this survey was paid for by a "private entity" that, as far as he was aware, was not backing or opposing anyone.

Wichita, KS Mayor: Campaign finance reports are in ahead of Tuesday's nonpartisan primary for mayor, and former TV reporter Lily Wu outpaced Democratic incumbent Brandon Whipple and the other contenders in the period spanning Jan. 1 through July 20. The two candidates who earn the most votes next week will compete in the Nov. 7 general election.

Wu, who switched her party affiliation from Republican to Libertarian last year, hauled in $207,000 thanks in large part to what KMUW's Kylie Cameron says are big donations from "prominent Wichita business leaders," and she finished with $88,000 available for the home stretch. Wu also has the support of Americans for Prosperity, which is part of the Wichita-reared Koch family's conservative political network (Koch Industries remains headquartered here); however, since these reports don't cover outside spending, it's not clear what it's doing to aid her.

GOP City Council member Bryan Frye, meanwhile, outraised Celeste Racette, a Democrat turned independent who leads a group advocating for the historic performance venue Century II, $93,000 to $39,000, and he went into the final weeks with a $26,000 to $4,000 cash-on-hand advantage. Whipple, by contrast, brought in $35,000, while he had $28,000 in the bank.

Prosecutors and Sheriffs

Cook County, IL State's Attorney: Eileen O'Neill Burke, who retired this month as a local appellate court justice, announced this week that she was joining next year's party primary to succeed her fellow Democrat, retiring incumbent Kim Foxx, as the top prosecutor for America's second-most populous county. Burke, who pitched herself as "a steady hand at the wheel," is the second candidate to launch after attorney Clayton Harris, who has the backing of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Democrat Adam Frisch raises $2.6 million in 2nd quarter for 2024 rematch against Lauren Boebert

Democratic challenger Adam Frisch has raised more than $2.6 million in the second quarter for his rematch against MAGA Republican extremist Rep. Lauren Boebert in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. Frisch almost pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the 2022 midterms when he lost to Boebert by a mere 546 votes in what surprisingly turned out to be the closest House race in the country. 

Frisch’s campaign, in a statement released Thursday, described the second-quarter fund-raising haul of more than $2.6 million as “shattering the record for the largest quarterly fundraising for a U.S. House challenger in the year before an election, excluding special elections and self-funded campaigns.”

The campaign said the average donation was just over $32 coming from over 81,000 individual donations from all 27 counties in the district and all 50 states. He is not accepting donations from corporate PACs.

RELATED STORY: After voting against infrastructure, Lauren Boebert dimly wonders why we don't spend more on it

In the statement, Frisch, a businessman and former Aspen city council member, thanked everyone who had donated to his campaign “to give the people of Southern and Western Colorado a representative who will take the job seriously and work across the aisle to find solutions to the problems facing the district.”

“Boebert continues to vote against the interests of her constituents while devoting her time to ‘angertainment’ antics that do nothing to help CO-3," Frisch said. "We can do better than Boebert, and thanks to our generous supporters, we will defeat her in 2024.”

Honored and humbled. Thank you to everyone of you who has donated, RT'ed, messaged, and joined this growing coalition. We are just getting started! pic.twitter.com/HxdsZVQ6c6

— Adam Frisch for CD-3 (@AdamForColorado) July 6, 2023

So far this year, Frisch has raised $4.4 million which is nearly two-thirds of the $6.7 million he raised for the 2022 campaign, much of which came in during the final weeks of the campaign after polls showed the race to be competitive.

In the first quarter of 2023, Frisch’s campaign brought in nearly $1.75 million compared to just over $763,000 for Boebert. Boebert has not yet reported her second-quarter fund-raising totals.  She raised $7.85 million for the 2022 campaign.

Frisch filed his paperwork for a 2024 rematch with Boebert on Feb. 14.

“People want the circus to stop. They want someone to focus on the district, not on themselves,” Frisch said. He added that the issues in CD3, such as water, mental health, agriculture, and the importance of domestic energy, are not “red and blue."https://t.co/5ghBlqTIwu

— Adam Frisch for CD-3 (@AdamForColorado) February 16, 2023

Boebert is considered the most vulnerable of the big-name MAGA Republican extremists in the House, most of whom represent deep-red congressional districts. Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District is rated as +9 GOP.

By contrast, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene won reelection by a 66% to 34% margin over Democrat Marcus Flowers in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District even though part of Democratic-leaning Cobb County was added to her district as a result of gerrymandering to give Republicans a bigger advantage in neighboring districts. Flowers raised more than $15.6 million in a totally noncompetitive race.

In 2022, both national parties mostly ignored Colorado's Republican-leaning 3rd Congressional District, which was considered solidly Republican by nearly all election forecasters.

In April, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee listed Boebert as among the Republican incumbents it considers most vulnerable. House Republicans have also put Boebert on their list of most vulnerable incumbents.

At the time, DCCC spokesperson Tommy Garcia told the website Colorado Politics in an email:

“Lauren Boebert is more obsessed with catching headlines and being the token MAGA extremist than actually working for everyday Coloradans. Between her dangerous conspiracies and outright racist bigotry, CO-03 voters can see that Lauren Boebert is an unserious member of Congress, unwilling to go to bat for them on issues facing Colorado. Her time in Congress is ticking down.”

A poll released in April by a Democratic firm showed that Boebert and Frisch were in a dead heat in the 3rd Congressional District, Colorado Politics reported.

The Global Strategy Group's Mountaineer poll, conducted March 29-April 2 in partnership with liberal advocacy group ProgressNow Colorado, found Boebert and Frisch tied at 45% each among likely voters, with the remaining 10% split between voters who are undecided and those who say they plan to vote for someone else. Cook Political has shifted the district to Leans Republican from Safe Republican.

Despite her razor-thin victory margin, Boebert has done little to tone down her extremism in the new Congress. Boebert was among about 20 extreme right-wing House Republicans who opposed Kevin McCarthy’s speakership bid until the very end. She also pushed for the House to vote on a resolution to impeach President Joe Biden—a move that McCarthy dismissed as “premature.”

Frisch still has his work cut out for him. This time he doesn’t have the advantage of surprise, and turnout will be greater in a presidential election year. As a national figure, Boebert can raise lots of funds from MAGA Republicans across the country.

The last Democrat to represent Colorado’s largely rural 3rd Congressional District was three-term Rep. John Salazar, who lost his bid for reelection in 2010.


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