Editor’s note: As of Thursday afternoon, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) had edged ahead of Democrat Adam Frisch by about 400 votes.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) is locked in a tight reelection race in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, trailing Democrat Adam Frisch by 64 ballots with 98 percent of votes counted, according to figures from the Associated Press.
Boebert trailed by 62 votes on Wednesday evening, and the margin remained close on Thursday morning, at just 64 votes.
The two campaigns expressed optimism in conversations with The Hill Wednesday afternoon, recognizing paths to their respective victories but noting that the race is far from locked up nearly 24 hours after polls closed in the Centennial State.
“We like where we are, we think we’re in a really good place, we are waiting for what we think are the last batch of numbers that should work out okay for us, but I’m certainly not gonna — I’m a fairly humble guy and I’m not gonna, again, get over my skis, and so we’re gonna be patient,” Frisch told The Hill in an interview.
“There’s certainly a path to victory,” Boebert spokesperson Ben Stout told The Hill.
Both campaigns are zeroing in on two key counties — Pueblo and Mesa — that have outstanding votes and will likely play a key role in determining the winner of the competitive Colorado race.
Pueblo County — a liberal-leaning area that overwhelmingly voted for President Biden in 2020 — has broken in favor of Frisch thus far over Boebert, 54 percent to 46 percent, with more than 95 percent of the vote in, according to the Times. Frisch’s spokesperson noted that the county typically takes a long time to report votes.
That remaining batch is fueling hopes in the Frisch campaign.
“It’s a Dem stronghold in the district for us so, given that, we feel very confident, even with the small lead we have we feel confident that we can hold on to that,” a spokesperson for Frisch’s campaign told The Hill.
On the other side of the aisle, Boebert’s operation is eyeing Mesa County, which handily supported former President Trump in 2020. With more than 95 percent of the vote in, the area is opting for Boebert over Frisch, 58 percent to 42 percent, the Times reported.
Wednesday afternoon, Stout told The Hill that the incumbent netted 500 votes when Montrose County did a ballot drop, tightening the race even more.
“It’s just continuing to shrink, shrink, shrink, we expect that to continue to be the process, and then it’s really gonna come down to a combination of voter turnout and, you know, same-day votes,” he said, noting that the congresswoman’s supporters tend to vote in person on Election Day rather than early.
A recount is triggered in Colorado if the final margin in the race is less than or equal to half a percentage point.
The razor-thin Colorado contest has emerged as something of a “sleeper race” this cycle, drawing virtually no attention on the national stage until Election Day, when Frisch opened with a shocking lead over Boebert once polls closed.
Boebert, a freshman lawmaker who has been linked to QAnon, has drawn headlines throughout her two years in Congress for supporting Trump’s election fraud claims and refusing to wear a mask on the House floor, among other things. The congresswoman, however, has maintained that she is not a follower of QAnon.
“Just a shout out to my Dad who lives in her district and told me last month [Lauren Boebert] could lose and I didn’t believe him,” former White House press secretary Jen Psaki wrote on Twitter, adding in a separate message that it is “huge” to be watching the race.
The campaigns on the ground, however, were not fazed by the close contest that has been tightening by the hour, asserting that the competition was always expected to come down to the wire.
Frisch — a local businessman whose only electoral experience is serving in the Aspen City Council — said he studied CD-3’s electoral history and recognized that he could win over a coalition large enough to pick off Boebert.
“Lauren Boebert received 51 percent of the vote in 2020, she did not win her home county, those that know her don’t care for her and a lot more people know her now that did before. And my math said that if I could accumulate 10 percent of her prior voters and some amount of undervoting — you know, Joe O’Dea is gonna earn more votes than Lauren Boebert in the same district, we could put together kind of a pro-normal coalition, and that’s exactly what we are playing out,” Frisch said, referring to the anti-Trump Republican candidate for Senate, Joe O’Dea.
Colorado’s 3rd District voted for Trump over Biden in the 2020 presidential election, 51.6 percent to 46.1 percent. The firebrand congresswoman won her election by a similar margin that year, defeating her Democratic challenger 51.4 percent to 45.2 percent.
“I thought that if a pro-business, moderate Democrat could get by the Democratic primary … I could build this coalition, and that’s what we did,” he said.
“So am I surprised? No,” he added.
Boebert’s campaign, for their part, also knew Tuesday’s race would not be an easy glide to reelection.
“We certainly didn’t think it was gonna be a blowout,” Stout said, arguing that Frisch has advertised himself as a right-leaning individual throughout the cycle.
This story was updated at 10:19 a.m.