Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District: Tipton has upper hand but pushed by Mitsch Bush |

Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District: Tipton has upper hand but pushed by Mitsch Bush

Republican Rep. Scott Tipton rode into Washington on a red wave that swept more than 60 House Democrats out of office in 2010. Now, with talk of a nationwide blue wave, Tipton is the one looking vulnerable.

Democrats across Colorado have been hinting for weeks that the state’s 3rd Congressional District, where their candidate, Diane Mitsch Bush, is outraising Tipton, is a “sleeper” race. On Oct. 16, FiveThirtyEight, a national news organization that specializes in poll tracking, moved Tipton’s seat into its tossup category and forecast his victory by a single percentage point — in a district he won by 15 points in 2016.

After the 6th Congressional District, where Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman has held on despite the demographics, the 3rd is the most competitive district in Colorado this year. Two of Colorado’s other House seats are solidly Republican and three favor Democrats.

Tipton, a Cortez native, said he isn’t taking his re-election for granted but is casting his opponent as too liberal for the sprawling 3rd District, which covers most of the Western Slope and the San Luis Valley before curving northeast into Pueblo County.

The race is more of an uphill battle for Mitsch Bush than it appears on paper. Democratic enthusiasm is palpable, but even her campaign manager says that won’t be enough to carry her across the finish line. She’s going to need to win the majority of unaffiliated voters and probably a few Republicans, too.

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