DENVER — The conventional wisdom holds that there is almost nothing Congressman Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, can do to lose Colorado’s 5th Congressional District seat, where Republicans hold an overwhelming voter registration advantage.
But even Republicans in Washington are taking note of the campaign being waged against him by retired Air Force Gen. Irv Halter, the strongest challenger Lamborn has ever faced who is running as an independent Democrat and working hard to capitalize on voter fatigue with the gaffe-prone incumbent.
Specifically, they’re noticing the new TV ad from Halter’s campaign, emphasizing his 32 years of military service and his new “mission to fix Congress” that looks to capitalize on voter disaffection with both parties.
“Career politicians like Doug Lamborn and Nancy Pelosi have failed,” Halter says in the ad. “There’s only one way to change Washington: vote them out.”
If Lamborn is increasingly unpopular in the district, it’s a safe bet that Pelosi is even less popular.
Halter had a three-to-one cash on hand advantage over Lamborn, who barely survived a June primary, when the summer began.
The incumbent, who has tended only to draw headlines as a result of self-inflicted wounds, from likening the country’s first black president to a “tar baby” to reading classified information about North Korea aloud and on the record at a House hearing, recently drew additional scorn for suggesting that military generals who disagreed with President Obama’s foreign policy should “resign in a blaze of glory.”
Congressman Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, a former Marine, took umbrage over Lamborn’s statement, as did Halter.
But despite it all, Lamborn is still a heavy favorite to win reelection, especially with a stronger Republican ticket topped by GOP Senate candidate Cory Gardner and gubernatorial nominee Bob Beauprez likely to boost turnout among conservatives in deeply conservative Colorado Springs.