The national Health Care Voter organization on Friday released a poll showing a statistical dead heat between the Democrat who lands Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District nomination and incumbent Republican Scott Tipton of Cortez.
Conducted by “Democratic-aligned but trustworthy Public Policy Polling,” the poll (pdf) surveyed 632 CD3 voters between April 30 and May 1 and found that the Democrat who lands the nomination during the Democratic primary on June 26 is supported by 42 percent of CD3 voters compared to 44 percent for Tipton – a
statistical dead heat.
The poll also found that “32 percent of voters approve of Tipton’s job performance, while 44 percent disapprove.” Tipton has held the seat since riding in on an anti-Obama, Tea Party wave in 2010 and has easily held off challenges from three different Democrats the
last three elections.
Three Democrats are currently vying for his seat – former Routt County Commissioner and state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, Carbondale rancher, water and Glenwood Springs municipal attorney Karl Hanlon and former Eagle County Commissioner and Green Party Senate candidate Arn Menconi.
Mitsch Bush, who earned the top line on the primary ballot at last month’s CD3 assembly, was quick to jump on the poll results by firing off a campaign email on Friday seeking funding to defeat Tipton for his vote last year to repeal the Affordable Care Act. A Colorado progressive group has already started running TV ads targeting Tipton for his health-care votes.
Mitsch Bush campaign manager Sonja Macys said Tipton’s ACA votes were the tipping point for Mitsch Bush giving up her state House seat and jumping into the race against Tipton.
“On May 4, 2017, Scott Tipton, once again, voted against his constituents’ interests, aligned himself with Donald Trump and voted in favor of Trump’s ‘heath care’ bill,” Macys said in the email blast. “Most ironic of all was Tipton’s claim that the bill would lower our insurance premiums.”
The poll found that two-thirds of CD3 voters are concerned that ACA repeal would have weakened their health care and that the law should be strengthened instead of repealed.
But Tipton campaign spokesman Michael Fortney on Saturday bushed aside any suggestion that the Cortez businessman is vulnerable in the sprawling but largely conservative Western Slope and southern Colorado district.
“Nancy Pelosi spent almost $3 million trying to beat Congressman Tipton last cycle. He won by 15 points,” Fortney said, referring to PAC money from House Minority Leader Pelosi in support of Democrat Gail Schwartz in 2016.
Schwartz, a former state senator from Crested Butte, appeared to be giving Tipton a run for his money but wound up losing by 14 points. The last time a Democrat held the CD3 seat was moderate Blue Dog Democrat rancher John Salazar in 2010.
To meet the three Dems seeking the nomination to run against Tipton, attend a candidate roundtable from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 9, at the Brush Creek Park Pavilion in Eagle.