As we get past the halfway point in the August congressional recess this election year, we’ve seen many members of the Colorado delegation holding town hall meetings. The availability of our members has varied, ranging from Rep. Jared Polis, who has held a truly commendable number of town halls this month, to Republican Cory Gardner’s smattering of townhalls in far-flung corners of his district, to Rep. Diana DeGette’s usual safe-seat paucity of them.
And then there’s Rep. Mike Coffman. As we’ve discussed many times, Coffman is in a tighter spot than other representatives this year, having had his formerly-safe GOP district redrawn into one of the most hotly competitive in the nation. You’d think that Rep. Coffman would be aggressively using the opportunity the August recess provides to get in front of voters.
Instead, from all the information we’ve been able to piece together, Coffman has basically been in hiding throughout the entire month of August.
- On August 4th, 7-9PM in Castle Rock, Coffman held a “luau” campaign fundraiser at a private residence.
- On Friday, August 10th, Coffman headlined a “job skills event” from 8-10AM. Sources tell us he had no involvement with the crowd of jobseekers other than shaking hands, and his actual appearance was very brief.
- On Wednesday, August 15th, Coffman spoke before a friendly audience at the Arapahoe County Republican Men’s Breakfast Forum.
- On Sunday, August 19th, Coffman has a BBQ campaign fundraiser from 4-6PM at a private residence in Greenwood Village.
- On Saturday, August 25th, Coffman hosts a fundraiser with state Rep. Cindy Acree, also in a private residence. Later that day, Coffman joins Rep. Cory Gardner, Secretary of State Scott Gessler, and Colorado House Speaker Frank McNulty at a Colorado Federation of Republican Women District 6 luncheon.
As far as we know, these are all of Coffman’s events in the month of August–please comment if you know of any others we missed. With the possible exception of the jobs event, there’s really nothing here you’d call “public.” It’s an easy guess as to why Coffman is hiding, after what can fairly be called a disastrous season of embarrassing gaffes and even more embarrassing attempts at damage control. It really does seem like Coffman’s advisors have run the numbers, and determined that the least risky path forward is to sequester their candidate.
And who knows? If they can keep the real Mike Coffman safely hidden, while unloading vast amounts of cash on TV spots that carefully paint the desired portrait of Coffman for this new swing district, they might be able to overcome everything Coffman has done to give away his formerly commanding position in this race. That seems to be the plan.