DENVER – With seven weeks left until Election Day, Joe Miklosi is making his move.
On Tuesday, the Democrat is going on the airwaves with a new TV ad, his first of the cycle, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has released a new poll showing him right on GOP Congressman Mike Coffman’s heels.
Those numbers, which will be released later Tuesday morning, show Miklosi trailing Coffman by just three points; the telephone survey of 350 likely voters in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District has Coffman, who’s seeking his third term, at 42 percent and Miklosi at 39 percent.
“Mike Coffman is very vulnerable, and with a visible campaign that introduces voters to the Democratic challenger, Joe Miklosi can unseat him,” said the DCCC’s polling director, Aaron Strauss.
According to the DCCC poll, which was released without cross-tabs to FOX31 and the Denver Post on Monday night, 71 percent of voters in the newly re-drawn 6th C.D. have never even heard of Miklosi, a state representative from Denver.
His campaign’s new television ad doesn’t fill out his biography much. Rather, it attacks Coffman as a “Tea Party Congressman” who wants to “end Medicare and outlaw abortions.”
In the ad, Miklosi, who is shown reading a newspaper at a table with constituents, remarks that “Coffman is too extreme”, mimicking the attack line seemingly every Colorado Democrat is following this cycle after Sen. Michael Bennet’s success with it in 2010.
Coffman, a former Colorado Secretary of State and Treasurer who served with the Marines in Iraq, is running a television ad that focuses on his military service.
He won the seat in 2008 when former Congressman Tom Tancredo retired and never faced a serious Democratic challenge in what has been a safe GOP seat until this year, after a Democratic redistricting map made his district far more favorable to Democratic candidates by moving half of conservative Douglas County out of it and drawing Aurora into it.
In 2008, President Barack Obama took 54 percent of the vote in the new 6th C.D.
Miklosi hasn’t raised significant money to challenge Coffman on his own but it getting lots of help from Democrats in Washington, who sense an opportunity to pick up this seat if Coffman stumbles or if turnout is lower among conservative voters.