Ross Kaminsky Show, Josh Penry, September 20, 2018

Station:    KHOW, 630 am

Show:       Ross Kaminsky Show

Guests:    Penry


Date:        September 20, 2018

Topics:       Mike Coffman Campaign, New York Times Poll, The Denver Post, Margin of Error, Polling, CD-6, Sixth Congressional District, Jason Crow, Competitive District, TV ads, TV Commercials, Nancy Pelosi, Immigrant Communities, Constituent Services, Andrew Romanoff, Morgan Carroll, EIS Solutions, Pro-Trump,

Click Here for Audio

HOST ROSS KAMINSKY:   [00:00:10] Let’s get right to it. Joining us on our VIP line, my friend Josh Penry, former Republican leader in the state Senate, currently a partner at EIS solutions, and strategist for the Mike Coffman for Congress campaign which he also was in 2014 and 2016 — where I would posit that Mike Coffman faced more credible challengers than he does this time. But Josh, I’m a little less confident this time. And I wanted to ask you to address a poll that the Denver Post wrote about that shows the Democrat Jason Crow ahead of Mike Coffman.

JOSH PENRY:  [00:00:50] Well, thanks for having me, Ross. And we’ll debate my my haircut another time. Remember, bald is beautiful! But thanks for having us on. We — you know, obviously, [are] working with the Coffman campaign. It’s been a real honor to — he’s a tremendous leader for the state and country. And you know, it’s sort of the [unintelligible] Mark Twain saw about rumors of his demise; every election cycle, we hear this is the toughest race he’s ever going to have. And on some level it’s true. This is a tough election. It’s a difficult district. But Mike is remarkably resilient, because he represents the district well. There was a poll that’s been pushed around all over the place — it was actually the New York Times poll [that] The Denver Post and some other local outlets pushed out — that said Mike was down by 10. And it’s just — I’m not a –. Polls are polls and I’m not going to spend a lot of time calling names. But it’s just fundamentally not accurate, not a reflection of where this district is. One of the reasons Mike has performed so well [is] we know this district, we know it performs, we know where our votes are, and we know how to make a winning case. So, [the poll results] are greatly exaggerated, not right. This is a margin of error race. This is a very competitive race every cycle. And that’s going to be the case this time, as well.

KAMINSKY:   [00:01:55] And folks, if you see Coffman campaign commercials on TV, these are done by Josh and his team at EIS. Josh, I have a question for you that’s much broader than just the Coffman campaign. Just as you look at the election season, I have a feeling — even more, actually, with some of the governor’s ads and the Coffman ads — that this is going to be a relentlessly negative campaign season. Do you see it that way? And is it that way because that’s just what works these days, or that’s the mood of the country right now? How do you see it?.

PENRY:  :   [00:02:24] Yeah, these are — they are tough races. And I know people get tired of it. And I think actually probably a lot of people in the political class get tired of it, as well. But it is — you know, but these are also tough, tough fights with real consequences. Jason Crow was handpicked by Nancy Pelosi to run in this seat because they thought his profile and resume would help her become the Speaker of the House. I mean, that’s the bottom line. So they’re spending — you know — literally a million, more than a million bucks a week, you know –.

KAMINSKY:   [00:02:50] A week? Did you say [a million dollars] a week?

PENRY:  [00:02:51] A week! A week. Yeah, yeah, right! So, and that’s part of what’s going on in the polling. Jason Crow is getting a little sugar high because the spending advantage on his side is so prohibitive. But we’ve been through this rodeo before. We ran against Andrew Romanoff and Morgan Carroll, both [who were] the more experienced, formidable candidates. And by the time the election ran its course, you know, obviously it turned out the way it did, with a decisive victory for Mike.

KAMINSKY:   [00:03:16] How does Mike Coffman as a Republican do so well in a district — I don’t know the number, I’m guessing D +2 or 3, but I don’t know. How does he do that?

PENRY:  [00:03:28] He just works hard. I mean, that’s part of it. And we — but we also, we also prosecute our case. You know, Mike is not the most conservative member. That’s why facially, Jason and Pelosi’s entire argument is, “Mike votes with Trump 96% of the time.” Anybody who reads the newspaper knows that’s not the case. And [if] they want to put their eggs in that basket, we’re ready for it. We will deconstruct that, door to door, face to face, TV ad by TV ad, over the course of [the] next several weeks. But people just know fundamentally it’s not true. They know Mike is an independent person. He’s his own person. And he’s at every barbecue. He’s at every Kiwanis Club meeting. He’s meeting with immigrant communities. He’s meeting with small business owners. It’s hard to smear a guy like Coffman — and make no mistake, that’s Crow and Pelosi’s game. It’s hard to smear a guy when you know him. And this district really does know him.

KAMINSKY:   [00:04:11] That’s a good point.

PENRY:  [00:04:12] So, we’ve got to tell Mike’s story, and we’re going to do some vetting of our friend, Jason Crow.

KAMINSKY:   [00:04:16] Okay, I’ve got about 90 seconds left, and I want to go down the road you just went down a little bit, there. Every once in a while, I’ll get a listener who is in that district — and I’m in Coffman’s district, as well, and for the record, I have contributed to his campaign — who says, “Well, Coffman is not pro-Trump enough, or not conservative enough.” And I say, “You realize your alternative is a Democrat. No matter where you are on the Republican side, you’re not going to do better in that district than Mike Coffman.” Do you want to elaborate on that a little bit?

PENRY:  [00:04:44] Yeah, and I — like, we always — we go through that, and it’s part of the challenge of representing this district. Mike wins his primary at the assembly phase. You know, our numbers consistently show Republicans coming home, because they know Mike is his own person. Whether [or not] you agree with him on every issue, you know he votes the district. You know he represents the people. And that’s why more conservative voters who don’t agree with some of his votes, you know, are are with him in the end. But it also goes to the heart of the dishonesty and the deceit that’s implicit in — you know — the Pelosi and the Crow argument. Coffman is his own man. Everybody knows that. And you know, that will be the argument we have over the next couple of weeks. And you know, rumors from the New York Times of Coffman’s demise are once more greatly exaggerated.

KAMINSKY:   [00:05:24] Okay, so separate from that poll, is your gut instinct right now — I don’t know whether you have polling or not, or whether you’d disclose it if you had it — but is your gut instinct that this is a very tight race right now?

PENRY:  [00:05:36] It is. But it is every cycle.

KAMINSKY:   [00:05:38] Yeah, that — yeah.

PENRY:  [00:05:38] This is a margin of error race. Like, right after Labor Day, this thing is a jump ball. And so we know we’ve got work to do. In that sense, it’s not exceptional. And so, we’re not getting spun up about this poll or this headline. We’re slow and steady — ‘slow and steady wins the race’ — and that’s our approach. And we expect to come out on top on Election Day.

KAMINSKY:   [00:05:56] Josh Penry of a EIS Solutions, strategist for Mike Coffman for Congress campaign. He helped him win in 2014 and 2016. We’ll see what happens in 2018. Thanks so much for being here, Josh. [I] appreciate it.

PENRY:  [00:06:07] You’re the man, Ross. Thanks for having me on.

KAMINSKY:   [00:06:08] All right. When we come back, is the GOP having a senior moment?