Democrat Adam Frisch, losing a tight U.S. House race to Republican Lauren Boebert, said Friday that his surprisingly strong campaign showed how many GOP voters are tired of Boebert’s brash style.
The Associated Press has announced that the election in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District is too close to call. AP will await the results of a possible recount call the race. With nearly all votes counted, incumbent Boebert leads Frisch by about 0.17 percentage points, or 554 votes out of more than 327,000 votes counted.
The surprisingly narrow margin for Boebert, one of former President Donald Trump’s staunchest supporters in Congress, was the latest sign that Trump’s influence with Republican voters may be waning amid a nationwide battle over the direction of the Republican Party. It’s a question some Republican leaders have raised, blaming Trump in part for his dismal midterm results even as the former president pushed ahead with announcing his 2024 candidacy.
“America is tired of the circus, tired of the lack of respect for our institutions and democracy, and tired of the lack of civility in our discourse,” Frisch said. The Democrat added that he has not ruled out another bid for the seat in 2024. Prognosticators, pundits and political establishment have largely deemed Frisch’s campaign a shambles, but the slim margin is a small victory for the Democrat.
“We’ve been written off by the political class, we’ve been written off by the donor class and the political media,” Frisch told the AP. “I wish more people didn’t have to wait nine months to call me back.”
Frisch said he supports a mandatory recount, but it would be unrealistic to expect him to get enough votes to win. He called Boebert to concede the race.
In Colorado, a mandatory recount begins when the margin of votes between the top two candidates is 0.5% or less than the number of votes for the leading candidate. This margin was around 0.34% on Friday.
Frisch’s comments came after Boebert announced her victory late Thursday in a video tweeted of her standing in front of the U.S. Capitol.
“Come January, you can be sure of two things,” Boebert said before thanking his supporters, “I will be sworn in for a second term as your congresswoman, and Republicans can finally make Pelosi’s House the People’s House.”
Boebert’s provocative style, modeled after Trump, has fueled anti-establishment anxieties and earned him a loyal following on the right. Thanks to frequent television appearances and a near-household name, the money for the campaign has flowed in, raising $6.6 million over the past two years.
Frisch campaigned on a largely conservative platform and against what he called Boebert’s “antics” and “anger.”
The former city councilman in the upscale city of Aspen was hoping to woo disaffected Republicans and build a bipartisan political coalition. He has rarely hinted that he is a Democrat and has endorsed the removal of Democrat Nancy Pelosi as House speaker, saying he wants to lower the partisan temperature in Washington. It was Boebert’s indirect exploration that resonated with voters in a heavily rural district that, while conservative, has often supported pragmatists.
“We have shown the country that extremist politicians can be defeated, loud voices cannot be defeated, and shouting will not solve problems,” Frisch said.